Thursday, 12 June 2014

Plaid and The Threat Of Democracy.

Plaid Leader  Leader Leanne Woo as given us a glimse of her vision of a future Wales at University College London Lecture

"It is essential for Wales to find and express its voice as a nation – a participant nation in these islands.
"As a constitutional entity, Wales has found itself trailing behind the other nations of these islands, often having to settle for well below ‘the going rate’ for powers over its own affairs.
"That is evidenced today as the ‘devolution going rate’ set in Scotland is not being matched in pace by that offered by Unionist parties to Wales.
"There is no logical reason for this difference in offering."
She said it was time for the process of devolution to give way to a self-government adding:
"Devolution - which is essentially about power retained - must give way to self-government.
"I propose a model of Welsh self-government where the people of Wales themselves are sovereign.
"In practical terms, the expression and the implementation of the sovereignty of the people should start and end with the people themselves.
"And so this evening, I am able to announce that a Plaid Cymru government in 2016 would seek an agreement with the UK government to implement by Order in Council, the devolution of the Welsh constitution, including the right to hold binding referenda, to the National Assembly for Wales.
"That will formally begin a new era of self-government, and with a Plaid Cymru Welsh Government that would result in a new, written constitution for the Welsh nation and a new relationship between Wales and the British State.
"From that point, Wales would formally be freely associating with the UK government, and it will be the people of Wales themselves who will determine what powers to share with Westminster.
"But I don’t want us as a country to miss out on an opportunity to develop a constitution and the basis for a new way of doing politics.
"I do not recommend the convening of a new commission and I would be eager for the new process to be people-led, not politician-led.
Wales’ constitution should be written and led by the people of Wales."A citizen-led constitution would help us reinvigorate the politics of Wales generally, it would put power back in the hands of the people rather than with a small elite and by coming together we could pool our collective intelligence to build not just the mechanics of government but the basis for a new nationhood."As well as considering powers and competencies, I’d like the process to consider the kind of society we want to build and the kind of communities we want to live in."
Not sure how this will work but clearly the practise of having commissions whose recommendations  then  are ignored has been frustrating.

I am not a great fan of referendums  because it can be over influenced by the Media . But with Information Technology it can be possible to constantly find out out what the people our elected members represent almost on a daily basis 

But as my headline claims this looks like the threat of democracy and for that to happen it will need to convince the people of Wales that they have a say in the future of our Nation.
"It is often a misconception – sometimes intentionally peddled by Unionists – that for those of us who support the creation of an independent Wales – that this is somehow at odds with the concept of cooperation with our nearest neighbours.
"Nothing could be further from the truth.
"We support the establishment of an independent Wales in order to join the international community, not to somehow retreat into an inward-looking isolationism.
"Ultimately, Wales’ voice within these islands will be best expressed within the context of partnership and the foundations of that partnership already exist in the form of the British-Irish Council.
"It is my hope to see Wales become a member of that council as an independent state, but one of the strengths of that organisation is that it includes all the nations of these islands regardless of their constitutional status."
Indeed if we are indeed Better Together then this should be as equals finding common purpose and sharing some things which benefits all of us.

"We have all the characteristics of a nation and over the past fifteen years, we’ve begun to develop as a state.
"But as well as treasuring the characteristics that make us a nation, we need also to face up to the obligations and responsibilities of nationhood too.
"The pursuit of independence means seeking the tools to face and make difficult decisions and tough choices.
"Independence is not an end in itself.
"It is the beginning of a period of endless opportunity.
"Above all, independence is normal.
"For too long, independence in the Welsh context has been treated as a pipe-dream as an aspiration so distant it has been seen as unrealistic and unworkable.
"But this evening, I want to elevate the debate and I can reveal that Plaid Cymru will shortly be publishing plans to begin the debate on Wales’ future.
"It will comprise the vision for self-government within the UK that I have already outlined and it will elaborate and map out how an independent Wales would function, the kind of social Wales a Plaid Cymru government would seek to build with the tools of independence."

Of course the devil will be in the details but Plaid may at last be moving on from the period where they have seemingly be locked into the Assembly Settlement and concentrated on simply getting the most out of it.

This has led to the goal of Independence being lost to seeking piecemeal transfer of powers that has after 15 years means that Wales is still far behind the position of the Northern Ireland Assembly let alone Scotland at the start of the formation of the devolved legislatures.

Whatever happens in Scotland in September the UK will never be the same again but unless all the Parties wake up we will  continue to be dependent on what will be a growing Anglo-Centric Westminster  which may be what Adam Evans in his Click on Wales  article was pointing to.

But at the end of the day it should not be the future of Scotland that shapes our vision of how Wales is governed  and for that to happen we must intensify the debate .

Leanne Wood as indicate she might just be doing so and linking it a peoples led  democracy its at least something to ponder.

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