Sunday, 9 December 2012

The return of Rachel Banner.

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 ).

Election results
Yes or noVotesPercentage
Yes check.svg Yes517,13263.49%
X mark.svg No297,38036.51%
Valid votes814,51299.86%
Invalid or blank votes1,1160.14%
Total votes815,628100.00%
Voter turnout35.63%

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

Smoke and mirrors coming from someone who doesn’t support devolution at all.
She offers no alternative from her real aim of abolition of  the Assembly altogether.

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.

1 comment:

DaveDare said...

She does indeed make a reasonable argument about celtic MPs votng on English matters but it's hardly a new point. That is the "West Lothian Question" that imbalanced and unequal devolution throws up. The question has been with us since debates on devolution first arose. Even with a more balanced devolution or a federal system there will still be cross-border issues, but it isn't beyond the wit of man to sort it.