Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Referendum talk

Elin Jones one of the Plaid leadership candidates says that there will have to be a referendum on independence in Wales should they as a party win power in two successive elections.

That is a mighty high hurdle to set. It is tantamount to saying not  for a long while yet. After all Plaid Cymru's track record in winning elections ain't that great.

But is that what it will take for  Wales to have such a vote. Unlikely. It could happen a great deal sooner than that. Why? Well, if Carwyn Jones gets his way and a convention is set up to look at all aspects of the Union and there are proposals to set up a Federal system. Surely, such changes would have to be voted on in a referendum of the Welsh people.

As even the smallest steps taken in the journey of devolution in Wales  has been subject to a referendum. It's  inconceivable that such a major change to the governance of the Kingdom would happen without the people having their say.

If you're asking people to vote for a new union then they must have the opportunity to say "we want no part of it". In other words the independence question must be an option on the ballot paper.

Isn't politics wonderful,  the party whose raison d'etre is independence making it clear that there won't be a vote taken on the issue for sometime yet. Whilst  the unionist Labour Party by it's action likely to bring forward such a vote.

It's a funny old world.

The following is a short extract of Carwyn Jones's press conference where he makes the call for a convention.

You will hear in answer to a question of mine the mention of the dreaded "Federal" word.
Carwyn Jones presser (mp3)


  1. Don't understand why Elin made this announcement. Another Plaid AM being wobbly and coming over all IWJesque? Pity, because she's shown guts so far.

    Why go into the details of holding a referendum and creating your own hurdles? As you say Gareth, events are moving so fast that even Carwyn Jones has changed his position a couple of times since last April.

  2. "We live in interesting times" has never sounded so apt! What we are seeing is that the dynamics affecting these issues are changing daily. More and more English people, influenced by the continual Unionist line that the Celtic fringe are "Benefit Junkies" increasingly want a say in this matter. Indeed in recent polls, more English people want the Scots to be Independent than the Scots themselves!

    Other than scare stories there is still a complete lack of cohesive and persuasive arguments in favour of the Union. Issuing the charge that The Celtic Countries could not survive without English taxes is clearly false, especially with the realisation that the UK government steadfastly refuses to release the budget figures for the Celtic Countries.

    The Unionist reason for Wales sticking with the current arrangements is that although we are one of the poorest Countries of the EU things could be worse! As Welsh people begin to realise we are in this position because or in spite of the Union, I think a more mature debate will take place, well before Elin Jones envisages!