Short, Sharp Yes for Wales.

The BBC reports on today’s official launch of the Yes for Wales campaign to secure legislative powers in devolved areas by winning a referendum on March 3rd.
The national launch is followed by a series of regional events as the campaign’s website shows.
First Minister Carwyn Jones states the case (wait a mo for video to kick in).

There’s no doubt that Scotland and Northern Ireland are taken more seriously. Why? My argument would be it’s because they’ve got more powers – and because of that they’re taken more seriously than us in Wales.
The point about [the referendum in] March is it’s about the tools for the job, but it’s also about making sure that Wales is a strong and equal partner within the United Kingdom, in the way that Scotland and Northern Ireland are.
It’s not to me about separation, it’s about making sure that we are taken note of within the context of the UK.

The polls are looking pretty good – the latest YouGov poll puts Yes at 48% to No at 30%. Many still undecided however…..
Oh and the No campaign are finding difficulty in getting Welsh speaking spokespeople:

…The Western Mail has learned that among the ideas mooted to get around the problem is getting an actor to read out statements in Welsh on behalf of True Wales.
This would be reminiscent of how statements made by Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams were broadcast in the 1980s during a period when the Thatcher Government banned him from the airwaves.

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  • Dewi

    “Many still undecided however…..”

    That’s one interpretation, “couldn’t give a toss about the whole charade” would be another; perhaps the “yes” campaign can offer the free curries, like the earlier “Get’em interested” roadshow tried last year.

    If the turnout falls way below 50%, then what would that tell you about the disconnect between the Welsh electorate and the political establishment in the country?

    Re the point about Welsh speakers, the “True Wales” campaign has mentioned the fear of a backlash individuals may suffer if they were to stand out from the herd.
    ?

  • Dewi

    “Re the point about Welsh speakers, the “True Wales” campaign has mentioned the fear of a backlash individuals may suffer if they were to stand out from the herd”

    Yes they have mentioned this. It’s a shame if that’s true. I suspect it’s more a lack of support. There’s no Welsh language at all on their website. This is relevant to your other point on turnout. The broadcasting media are, quite rightly, committed to parity of opportunity to both campaigns- a lack of a decent No campaign could easily have the effect of rduced total coverage – which would hit turnout.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dewi,

    I suspect some Welsh speaking Tories whose natural inclination would be to oppose devolution and certainly more powers are probably being told by Cameron (who I presume is in favour?) to keep quiet?

  • grahnat

    Officially we Tories are free to vote and campaign as we wish. However Assembly members, and no one else, are exerting pressure for yes – fortunately they are being ignored!

    The referendum that created the assembly was dubious particularly when voting papers were not available for recount.

    What is crazy is that otherwise sensible and intelligent people are being duped by Plaid in their fight for independence.

  • Dewi

    Cameron actively neutral – Welsh Tory party in favour but the polls say voters overwhelmingly against.

  • Dewi

    Interesting grahnat. Could you give me one rational reason to vote no?

  • “There’s no Welsh language at all on their website”

    Dewi,

    In take your point on that one.

    However, blaming True Wales in advance for what is promising to be a low to embarrassing turnout seems to be a pre-emptive justification for the (apparent) fact that whilst the Welsh political establishment obviously want more power (and the baubles that go with it) for themselves, the majority of the electorate have little to no interest in the whole affair.

  • Dewi

    I’m more interested in the result than the turnout to be honest. It’s not a particularly sexy subject – and really not a constitutional issue deserving a referendum (Not saying it isn’t important – it’s vital for decent governance). There are a number of factors effecting turnout however :
    1) London based media are much more dominant here than in NI or Scotland – and show very little interest.
    2) All parties are skint, and both campaigns are being run on donations (apart from a small electoral commission grant for administration.
    3) There is no great principle at stake so building an emotional campaign (for or against) is difficult.

    I’m hoping for over 40% turnout and a 60% Yes vote.

  • Frame

    The Welsh nearly pulled off the rejection of devolution last time and there is no reason to suspect they won’t surprise this time, just like the people of the North East did in Prescott’s devolution referendum.

    They only need to look at Northern Ireland to know that a mixture of Peronism and squandermania is less than popular now especially when the money ceases to pour in.

    Welsh legislative devolution will mean jobs for lawyers and bureaucrats and less money for the Valleys. Some voters are wise enough to spot this.

    With 30% already opposed when the great and the good are universally in favour, including the London Tories, shows it won’t take much to turn round.

    The fact that the Government, and the Liberals in particular, are going to be more unpopular by March will be the coup de grace for this project of the chattering classes.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dewi,

    “I’m hoping for over 40% turnout and a 60% Yes vote.”

    A tenner says it will be under 35%. You on?

    Also lets not pretend this debate is just about good government, it is also about ideology and would have swathes of Tory types against and Nat types in favour regardlesss of the merits of the case.

  • Dewi

    Bet accepted Sammy…athough might be close….

  • Aqua Thinker

    What is the purpose of self determination? To do as you
    choose under your own will, then why not full independance and
    become an independant state or is the Pot Noodle industry not that
    much of wealth creater, remanants of Scotland and RBS. Jokes aside,
    Wales if it’s electorate decide to should have devolved powers of
    self governance. It’s the new form of governance, but be cautios
    not to be offloaded with to much responsibilty. The Welsh Assembly
    must be as straight as straight can be if it is to be an effective
    government.