6 weeks to go – No campaign launches.

The BBC report on today’s launch of the True Wales “No” campaign in next month’s referendum.
The launch takes place in Newbridge RFC (…my home village Rugby Club…hmm).
Rachel Banner, True Wales spokesperson, is quoted:

“We don’t want more laws. What we need is for AMs to focus on education and health and the economy and to build up these things so we can have a prosperous Wales.
“We don’t believe new laws will achieve that.”

I love that “We don’t want more laws”
a) What? Ever?
b) The current system allows for new laws – just slowly..
Meamwhile, on the side of the angels:
Max Boyce is voting Yes..as is John Hartson. Quoting that Mirror snippet:

…..More big names are to follow in a country enjoying a cultural renaissance ahead of March 3’s referendum on greater devolved powers.
I like the way the campaign is marshalling genuinely committed stars. This should avoid cringey It’ll be Alright on the Night political bloopers.
Ginger Spice endorsing Labour in 2001 flopped when it emerged she wasn’t registered to vote.
And Michael Caine with Cameron last year was comedy gold when the actor appeared to praise Labour.
Actors are advised never to work with animals or children while politicians take risks with celebs.
One final thought: If John Hartson campaigns like he played, I fear for his opponents.

Shame the referendum isn’t tomorrow to be honest….

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  • grahnat

    Those supporting yes simply understand that they are helping Plaid achieve its ultimate goal of independence. They are being seduced by a sense of faux nationalism.

  • Dewi

    “They are being seduced by a sense of faux nationalism.”
    What does that mean please?

  • HeinzGuderian

    ‘The Land of my Fathers………..’ Ermm,does Dylan Thomas count as one of those *celebrities* ?? 🙂

  • Rory Carr

    Looks like you’re on a roll, Dewi. Max Boyce is hardly surprising, we would have expected no less and following John Hartson’s endorsement let’s hope we can now look forward to a big ‘Yes !’ from Ryan Giggs and Christian Bale (if they haven’t already committed).

    Having lived and worked in Newport and Cardiff in the 70’s, when I was dismayed by the lack of a discernible Welsh identity and Welsh culture, it is so heartening to witness this great surge in Welsh pride and self-confidence which is so apparent in the very demeanour of the people and especially so with Welsh sports personalties and Welsh actors and writers and such who appear on national television. Whereas in years past I had always sensed almost a reluctance to put their Welsh identity up front on such occasions it certainly is not the case today.

    And it’s bloody delighted I am !

  • Dewi

    Good stuff Rory….might miss out Mr Bale however…..now Gareth Bale! – have a word!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    The wisdom of having the referndum in the middle of the 6N sandwiched between the Welsh visit to Italy (which they traditionally stuggle with) and the home game against the migthy Ireland in which they are traditionally beaten(I think Wales have only beaten Ireland once since 1985?) remains to be seen. We have a bet on referendum turnout this – did I say a tenner it would be under 35%?

    But it is looking good to be carried as there is little for the NO camp to rally around except – anti-devolution and with the Tories signed up cant see it getting any momentum.

    ps Also both of us owe Slugger a tenner for Ospreys/Munster’s early exit form the HC.

  • Dewi,

    You’ll have seen today’s news and the consequent squeeling on the part of the Welsh political establishment?


    Len Gibbs from True Wales:

    “We don’t particularly put great store on having that designation (as lead campaign), so we came to the conclusion that we didn’t need it and we are not going to apply for it.

    “We have always been and will remain a group of people who puts its case using only the money of its supporters.
    “It’s most certainly the case that this is about public money.

    “We are helping the people of Wales not to waste money on something we don’t believe is necessary.”

    Bravo Mr Gibbs for saving us 70 grand!

  • Dewi

    Yes O’Neill – unfortunate for democracy IMHO – and almost a concession of defeat by TW. Although, to be fair, as the bulk of their supporters would abolish the Assembly (which is not on offer) an incoherent campaign from them is almost inevitable.
    Interestingly a submission for a “No” campaign has been submitted to the Electoral Comission….from Alwyn Ap Huw –
    It doesn’t go far enough…

  • Ah, the Old Miserable Fart himself:), he’s most p-offed at the minute at being referred to as part of the Political Elite!!

    Anyway…democracy, if it means anything surely, means not having to follow the path laid down by the Elite and instead following your own conscience?

    Just because they have refused to follow the Devocrats’ Plan doesn’t mean that democracy has been damaged. As I said before, if people are interested enough about the Referendum, then there is enough information out there for them.

  • Dewi

    Elite? – I wish…..my local AM lives in a terraced house in the village….

  • Rory Carr

    This attempt by those stalwarts of the True Wales campaign (or absence of campaign) to curtail the ability of the Yes for Wales campaign to obtain funding to promote their views might well backfire whether or not Alwyn Ap Huw gains official designation for his NO campaign. This because the publicity generated by the surly True Wales spoiler tactic can only serve to highlight just how little they have to offer by way of opposition to the YES campaign. I am confident that it will probably be worth much more in terms of effective propaganda than a gift of £70,000 towards postage and printing could accomplish.

    The YES vote seems assured and those who only ever saw opportunity in Wales to consist of fawning to their upper-class English betters, the kind who took Waugh’s Decline and Fall to heart and winced at the portrayal of their country and its people but sought only to lessen its impact by serving as good, tame house Taffies, these now feel threatened that the big house table under which they once scrabbled for crumbs of patronage is to be taken away. And as the door of influence slams shut upon them we hear not a bang but a whimper.*

    * With apologies to T.S. Eliot

    p.s. I stand corrected, Dewi. I did of course intend the talented Tottenham footballer, Gareth Bale from Cardiff and not his talented Hollywood cousin, Christian.

  • Elite? – I wish…..my local AM lives in a terraced house in the village


    As I have explained elsewhere, “Elite” does not necessarily mean an “Elite” in terms of wealth, perhaps Establishment is a more accurate term.

    The Devocrats are the new Political Elite (or Establishment if you prefer) and their priorities and demands are as remote and disconnected from those of the majority of electorate as it has been anytime in the past. The turnout figure in the referendum will conclusively prove that point.

  • Dewi

    Again – if the No campaign got organised turnout might no be as low.

  • Say True Wales decide they’ve had enough of the ridicule and, on occasions, downright abuse and character assassination thrown at them and withdraw full stop from the whole shambles, what then?

    You’d blame your non-existant opponents for your failure to get Mr Average interested in your project?

    Is it not the job of the Devocrats to be doing the motivating?

    After all, they’re the ones wanting to change the system, the onus is on them surely to persuade more than 40% of the electorate to vote?

    Time to get those free curries out again.

  • Dewi

    The trouble is O Neill is that it’s a daft referendum to be honest. Not a constitutional issue. But as for abuse the quislings are pretty good at that themselves. 40%? – any particular logic behind that number?

  • Tut, tut, Dewi, quislings indeed, with not a “” in sight!

    40% is the bare level needed for the WAG and the Elite to maintain credibility; a turnout of 35%, 30% or lower would raise serious questions about both.

  • Rory Carr

    I don’t suppose, O’Neill, that you’d be asking too many serious questions if a turnout of 35% or 30% returned a ‘NO’ vote. But then we’re unlikely to find out, aren’t we ?

  • No I wouldn’t be asking too many questions in that unlikely case- if a large majority of the electorate don’t care less about the WAG either way AND a majority of those who did voted “No”, then I’d say a very strong case would have been made for closing the whole sheebang down full stop.

    As it is, we’re looking just at that large majority not caring less one way or the other…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Dewi, Rory,

    are you suggesting that turnout has no impact on the credibility of devolution?

  • Dewi

    The evidence from Switzerland indicates that if a proposal is popular referendum turnout can be very low. In this case the lack of proper campaigns will not help. I think turnout at Assembly elections has more of an impact and will be disappointed if that doesn’t increase this time.
    P.S. the referendum result isn’t certain so Sammy you be sure to vote!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    I’m not talking about Switzerland where referedndums are 10 a penny. I’m asking you, if you accept that a low turnout in Wales will damage the credibility of devolution.

    In my opinion it clearly will – just as low turnout in an Assembly, Westmister or Dail election will.

    I agree with Oneill on this – although I strongly support a Yes vote.

  • Dewi

    No i don’t accept because of the nature of the referendum. It’s no big deal and therefore difficult to enthuse people.