Sunday, 28 August 2016

Do Labour and Tories want Wales taken back to 1535 status?

Before I begin  i will remind you of the pertinent  part of the Act of Union of 1535

The Act declared King Henry's intentions, that because of differences in law and language:[1]
 some rude and ignorant People have made Distinction and Diversity between the King's Subjects of this Realm, and his Subjects of the said Dominion and Principality of Wales, whereby great Discord, Variance, Debate, Division, Murmur and Sedition hath grown between his said Subjects;) His Highness therefore of a singular Zeal, Love and Favour that he beareth towards his Subjects of his said Dominion of Wales, minding and intending to reduce them to the perfect Order, Notice and Knowledge of his Laws of this Realm, and utterly to extirp all and singular the sinister Usages and Customs differing from the same, and to bring the said Subjects of this his Realm, and of his said Dominion of Wales, to an amicable Concord and Unity..."
- and therefore:
"That his said Country or Dominion of Wales shall be, stand and continue for ever from henceforth incorporated, united and annexed to and with this his Realm of England;"
In other words after after 1535 Wales as a Nation ceased to exist 

Is there a concerted move by Labour and Conservative  in Wales to build a momentum  scrap the Welsh Assembly and take us back to that status?

I don't think so ,but the actions of some AM would lead you to be forgiven for thinking so.
Jeremy Miles, AM for Neath, said the institution should be on its "guard".
His colleague Lee Waters also suggested "complacency" could change the public's support for the assembly.
Welsh voters backed devolution in two referendums in 1997 and 2011, but rejected calls from Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems to back EU membership.
Leave campaigner Mark Reckless, a UKIP AM, said it was more conceivable now that the "consensus on devolution" may not continue to attract the support of a "plurality of people".
The comments come after David Taylor, a former aide to ex-Labour cabinet minister Lord Hain, said devolution was under threat if politicians did not change attitudes over Brexit.

Mr Miles said:
 "People will have formed a view that coming out of the EU is the answer to a lot of what they are angry or concerned about."
But he said that "is not going to be the case".
"So the disillusionment we've obviously seen with politicians in some sense, coming out of the Brexit decision, I think could be quite a lot worse in five years' time,
it could easily be that we face challenge within that sort of time frame".
He said it was a "threat to the continued existence" of the institution.
"I am not saying in five years' time people will say they will want to get rid of the assembly but over time that could be the result of continued disillusionment."
 Lee Waters, Labour AM for Llanelli, said that public support for devolution had grown since the assembly was established.
"But the populist backlash towards everything resembling the establishment that has been unleashed by austerity is an unpredictable force," he said.
"To date the assembly has been seen to be on the right side of public opinion, but complacency could change that."
"Despite continued efforts, on that test it has so far failed to fulfil its potential," he said.
"We need to fight like the future of devolution depends upon it, and come together - cross-party - to agree an economic plan that can silence the doubters and deliver on devolution's promise."
 Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has warned that he believes a referendum on abolishing the Welsh Assembly would succeed if it was held now.
While stressing in an article for the Sunday Times that he remains a supporter of devolution, and does not himself advocate scrapping it, he thinks that in a turbulent political era that delivered a Leave vote in June’s referendum on EU membership, it would be difficult to get backing for the Assembly as an institution.
Mr Davies, who supported Brexit, states: “The result of the EU referendum has thrown the Welsh political establishment into a tailspin.
“Last week a fellow farmer asked me if I thought a referendum on devolution could be won in the new post-Brexit landscape, or if the contagion would spread beyond Brussels and engulf Cardiff Bay if voters were asked to have their say again.
“The fact of the matter is that I don’t think that such a campaign could be won today. The result was tight in 1997, but if the question were put to the people tomorrow I believe that they would vote to abolish the National Assembly.
“I say that with no pleasure. Having initially opposed devolution, I have become a passionate but pragmatic advocate. I take huge pride in the role I have been elected to serve, even if I don’t believe that the Welsh Government has made the best use of the tools at its disposal to deliver for Welsh communities - and that’s why the reaction of the Welsh Government to the referendum has been so frustrating.”
 “We also need to ensure that communities across Wales feel that the Welsh Government is representative, not distant and remote.
“Sadly, instead of seeking to reflect the will of the people they represent, the Welsh Government is effectively seeking to subvert the result of the referendum. It is taking up a position of constant obstruction, and refusing to engage with people who campaigned for the ‘other side’.
“But they shouldn’t forget that in five Assembly elections, turnout has never exceeded 50%, and while the public may support the principle of local decision-making there is very little evidence to suggest any great affection for the Assembly itself.
“Frankly, if an institution as embedded as the European Union can be swept aside by the prevailing wind of public opinion, then it’s crazy to think that the Welsh Assembly would withstand it.”
It is interesting that  Brexit  has been raised by those warning about the threat to the  Assembly .

Can it mean that there is a feeling in some quarters that Brexit represented a protest from those who feel marginalised  and discontented  and this is a can be tapped into other campaigns which whilst claiming to be anti-establishment  are quite the opposite and will secure power in the corridors of power and permanent Tory Government.

Will we be seeing a campaign to undermine the Assembly by making it seem to ineffectual  and a waste of money.

Mind you that's what I thought Carwyn Jones  has been doing since he became First Minister,

I believe there is a threat to the Assembly  but it is not by standing by and allowing Westminster to rubber stamp the Brexit negotiations on our behalf.

The threat from Brexit and indeed Scotland leaving the Union could lead to the end of Wales as Nation.

Both I believe are inevitable and the latter hoped for , But rather than seeding the weeds of an Abolish the Assembly campaign, all the Parties in Wales should rally around building a Welsh legislature that works and fighting any reversal that  could lead us back to 1535.


  1. 1535 under a dictatorial undemocratic domination, an edict was issued which is binding for ever? By all means accept the overshadowing of a neighbour, based purely on the arithmetic of larger numbers, but never accept any sense of inferiority or incompetence.

  2. You have to wonder what has prompted all these sudden warnings about the very existence of welsh devolution? It's not as if there's been a groundswell of support among people in wales to get rid of the senedd. A party which stood on a platform of abolition polled less than 5 percent in may's elections, while poll after poll has consistently shown negligible figures for abolition. And of course in the last real test of welsh opinion on devolution the electorate voted overwhelmingly to increase the senedd's powers.

    Yes ive no doubt some of the forces behind the brexit campaign would like to see wales returned to direct rule from westminister - you only have to look at some of the comments on WOL to see that. But ukip - the chief proponents of brexit - no longer advocates abolition, and there is simply no evidence the tens of thousands of people across wales who voted for brexit are anti devolution.

    So you do have to ask is the issue of the senedd's existence being manufactured and manipulated by shadowy forces who would like to see wales returned to direct control by westminister? Shadowy forces seeking to take advantage of a nascent british nationalism that may have emerged since june 23rd. As if this alleged 'anti political' mood is so strong how come there arent a rash of sudden warnings about the existence of the westminister parliament being in danger?

    But yes youre right glyn when you say the end of welsh devolution would pose serious threats to the existence of wales as a nation. As without any degree of self government how could it seriously be claimed wales is a country in its own right? As if we in wales do not manage at least some of our own affairs where does that leave us from a constitutional point of view? In practical terms Wales would be no different to an english shire county!

    And this is why - whatever its shortcomings - the senedd as an institution must always be defended by those of us for whom wales existence as a nation is important.