I'm the Hen Ferchetan. This is my take on the world through the eyes of Wales. While mostly about Welsh politics (that most famous of dour topics!) I try to scatter some humour around, but I doubt anyone but me will find it funny! Have a read, and if it bores you then feel free to never come back!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

True To Their Word

Apparently we now have a wannabe official No campaign. (Such campaigns are not official until the Electoral Commission specifies them as "the chosen one", that won't happen until we actually have a referendum called).

It seems that someone had a quiet word in David Davies' ear about his suggestion of going with the slogan "Wales for the Union" so the name is now "True Wales". While the idea behind the name is that:
"members felt that those who support Wales' presence in the United Kingdom have been for too long unfairly categorised as "anti-Welsh". True Wales aims to represent the true feelings of the huge majority of people in Wales who wish to remain in the United Kingdom"
Hmm....representing the huge majority of people in Wales who wish to remain in the UK? Funny, I thought that we were talking about a referendum on further powers, something that apparently more of "people in Wales" (not "Welsh people" note) support than oppose.

As a flashback to 1997 True Wales is led by a Tory and an unknown Labour Councillor (what happened, was even Llew Smith refusing to work with you David?). Apparently the group consists of Labour, Tories and Independents, although no names yet apart from those two - I wonder if there will be anyone else we've heard of (apart from the other Welsh Tory MP's, who we can safely assume will follow David anywhere).

So what kind of debate can we expect from True Wales? The fact that they're already talking of representing those who wish to stay in UK gives you a hint of what their tactic will be. The same theme can be seen in these two recent statements from True Wales' leading men:
"...the devastating impact separation from Britain would have on Wales."
"Granting full lawmaking powers to the Assembly would be a huge step along the rocky road to full independence for Wales, which is what many people in the Yes camp actually want. Make no mistake – independence would drag Wales down to Soviet-style poverty"
So expect True Wales to try and turn the referendum into one on independence instead of debating what the referendum actually is for, a devolved Parliament, weaker than that of Scotland. It also seems that they'll colour this theme with sweeping statements like above, telling us that there is no way on God's earth Wales could survive a Yes vote and independence without becoing a third world ghetto.

Will the formation of True Wales mean a Yes campaign is set up soon? There will be lot of pressure on Labour and Plaid to form one but don't hold your breath, I have a feeling the One Wales Government has decided to wait until after the All Wales Convention before they make any such move. While that may or may not be a good idea, those in favour of a Yes vote should better start banging their drums a little louder, even if the first signs from the No campaign seem a bit weak. After all, it's important that they remember that the 1997 No campaign that so very nearly derailed devolution was also lead by an unknown Labour Councillor from the Valleys.

1 comment:

Che Grav-ara said...

Must say I am dissapointed they ditched the "Wales for the Union" idea. would have been a great name for the people trying to run a Yes campaign.

Think you've got it spot on with the type of tactics we can expect from the No campaign. This wont be about the real issues of a referendum thats for sure.