"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Monday, 6 February 2012

What now for Labour voters?

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Welsh poltics used to be so simple. The average person in Wales just turned up at their polling station on election day, put a cross in the box next to Labour and went home safe in the knowledge they have played their part in the democratic act of "not letting those bloody Tories in".

Even after devolution and the formation of the Welsh Assembly the only thing that really changed for the average voter in Wales is that they were now able to vote for Labour twice as often.

But over the last year or so a few things have happened that may cause your Welsh Labour voter to want to rethink their vote.

It started in March 2011 when the people of Wales voted to give their assembly more powers. Over 63% agreed with granting further powers. Two months later in May the people of Wales put their crosses next to Labour and Labour were again in control of the assembly, except this time with some extra powers.

Another two months went by and then Carwyn Jones, leader of Welsh Labour and First Minister of Wales told the BBC that he wanted Wales to have even more powers devolved to it. This was backed up in early 2012 by a You-Gov poll commisioned by ITV that showed that more people had a desire either for more powers or full independence than those that wanted less powers or no devolution at all.

Now here's where it gets tricky. On January 31st 2012 Jonathon Edwards MP (Plaid Cymru) raised a bill in the house of commons for energy generation powers to be devolved to the Welsh Government.

The Bill would also mean the people of Wales gaining control over the Crown Estates in Wales.

Full speech here, iPlayer here.

In case you nodded off earlier, this is what Carwyn Jones was banging on about when he said he wanted more powers devolved. And more powers devolved is exactly what the Welsh voters want.

The bill was defeated 239 - 44. 44 isn't a bad showing you might think, Wales has 40 MPs so even if all of them voted yes then that means at least 4 non Welsh MPs voted yes.

And here is the point in the movie when the penny is about to drop and the audience will realise what is going on and that nothing is as straight forward as they thought. This is where your average Welsh voter should begin to doubt whether just turning up and putting a cross next to Welsh Labour or UK Labour is really the best thing to do.

All Welsh MPs didn't vote yes, not all of them bothered to turn up.

In fact here is a list of all the UK MPs that voted yes.
  1. Peter Bottomley    Worthing West    Con    aye
  2. Zac Goldsmith    Richmond Park    Con    aye
  3. Andrew Percy    Brigg and Goole    Con    aye
  4. Henry Smith    Crawley    Con    aye
  5. Nigel Dodds    Belfast North    DUP    aye
  6. William McCrea    South Antrim    DUP    aye
  7. David Simpson    Upper Bann    DUP    aye
  8. Paul Flynn    Newport West    Lab    aye
  9. Jonathan Edwards    Carmarthen East and Dinefwr    PC    aye
  10. Elfyn Llwyd    Dwyfor Meirionnydd    PC    aye
  11. Hywel Williams    Arfon    PC    aye
  12. Mark Durkan    Foyle    SDLP    aye
  13. Angus MacNeil    Na h-Eileanan an Iar    SNP    aye
  14. Angus Robertson    Moray    SNP    aye
  15. Alan Beith    Berwick-upon-Tweed    LDem    aye
  16. Tom Brake    Carshalton and Wallington    LDem    aye
  17. Annette Brooke    Mid Dorset and North Poole    LDem    aye
  18. Malcolm Bruce    Gordon    LDem    aye
  19. Michael Crockart    Edinburgh West    LDem    aye
  20. Tim Farron    Westmorland and Lonsdale    LDem    aye
  21. Don Foster    Bath    LDem    aye
  22. Andrew George    St Ives    LDem    aye
  23. Stephen Gilbert    St Austell and Newquay    LDem    aye
  24. Mike Hancock    Portsmouth South    LDem    aye
  25. John Hemming    Birmingham, Yardley    LDem    aye
  26. Martin Horwood    Cheltenham    LDem    aye
  27. Simon Hughes    Bermondsey and Old Southwark    LDem    aye
  28. Julian Huppert    Cambridge    LDem    aye
  29. John Leech    Manchester, Withington    LDem    aye
  30. Stephen Lloyd    Eastbourne    LDem    aye
  31. Tessa Munt    Wells    LDem    aye
  32. John Pugh    Southport    LDem    aye
  33. Alan Reid    Argyll and Bute    LDem    aye
  34. Dan Rogerson    North Cornwall    LDem    aye
  35. Bob Russell    Colchester    LDem    aye
  36. Adrian Sanders    Torbay    LDem    aye
  37. Robert Smith    West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine    LDem    aye
  38. Ian Swales    Redcar    LDem    aye
  39. John Thurso    Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross    LDem    aye
  40. David Ward    Bradford East    LDem    aye
  41. Mark Williams    Ceredigion    LDem    aye
  42. Roger Williams    Brecon and Radnorshire    LDem    aye
  43. Stephen Williams    Bristol West    LDem    aye
  44. Jennifer Willott    Cardiff Central    LDem    aye

There are 26 Labour MPs that represent Welsh constituencies. Only Paul Flynn MP voted yes, the others either voted no or couldn't be bothered to turn up.

There's a complete list here.

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I hope I have shown there is a distinct difference between the policies and attitudes towards Wales from both Welsh Labour and UK Labour MPs that just so happen to represent Welsh constituencies. The people of Wales can no longer blindly put a cross in the box next to Labour no matter which election it is.

If you are not happy with your MP then ask them why they are betraying Wales in this way. These people must realise they are accountable to us. I'll hand you over to Jonathon to finish the article off.

As always, here is a brief video to help share the message.

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  1. Excellently set out, Stuart!

    It's a pity that Wales can't have the equivalent of Newsnet Scotland.

  2. This is the email that I sent to my local MP on the subject of the Bill.

    Dear Mr Tami,

    Thank you for your hard work in representing the constituency of Alyn & Deeside and how you have stuck up for Wales in London. I would also like to thank you for the massive betrayal to Wales by voting against the Electricity Generation Bill and showing total disregard to the wants and needs of the people of Wales and the Welsh Government. I am also delighted that you seem happy that Wales is not held in the same regard as Scotland and Northern Ireland and that you think that our country does not deserve to be able to control its own natural resources unlike the previously mentioned nations. Do not worry Mr Tami, the praise hasn't finished yet. I would also like to thank you for making me feel like a second class citizen in my own country because my MP would rather listen to what his party whip tells him to do rather than the people who voted him. And finally I would like to thank you for showing me what an unfair democracy we have in Wales.

    Thanks for nothing.

    Yours Sincerely

    A disgusted Welshman.

  3. You really are barking mad on here.

    Still jabbering on about us Welsh getting rich selling water at inflated prices to England.Or our vast gold reserves...Though there are STILL hints from the indepentalista dreamers that there are huge oil reserves still to be found under the Brecon Beacons (or was that Ely Racecourse)....

    And as for Assembly muppets controlling fuel supplies..You MUST be joking ! You'd have us all reduced to chopping down trees and scrabbling round for twigs if that ever happened.

    You clowns are just mischief-makers and anti-UK daydreamers, who have spent too much time listening to CymruX nonsense.

    Good laugh though !

    1. I suppose its easy to criticise when you dont have a clue what you are talking about. If we had such little amount of resources as you say, then why are the English so against letting us have any say over them.

      Oh and if you would like an even bigger laugh, why dont you stand in front of a mirror and pull your pants down, you unionist freak.

    2. Try not to stoop to their level anon 3:56. He is simply misguided and has been brainwashed by the English media that has a vested interest in keeping everything British.

  4. Come off it. It is clearly ludicrous for the elected representatives of a nation to be reponsible for and have oversight of the natural resources of their country. I am confident that all free born Englishmen, sorry - Britons- , would agree with this principle. I therefore intend to lobby David Cameron and urge him to give up control of the UK's resources and transfer all decision making to Brussels. After all it would be an absurd display of fascistic nationalism to insist that decisions affecting England should be made in England by the elected representatives of the English people.

    God sef ddy cwin.

  5. Anon 01:26

    Da iawn!

    One law for the Eurosceptics, another for the Welsh.

  6. Our resources also include those that are also intangible, that are, in a knowledge based economies as valuable as electricity generation. Such as our country's name and branding on the web and who owns it.

    Thanks to Edwina Hart - 'Welsh' Labour - it isn't owned by us, but by an Oxfordshire based company. Given to them on a plate because apparently there isn't a spare £180k to back and loan to a Welsh based venture.

    See http://www.dotcym.org/home/?p=157

    This Welsh Labour Government has started spending that much per year on renting new offices in London that it claims establishes international links for Wales.

    Compared to dotScot, dotLondon, dotBzh etc. who have understand the potential, this Welsh Labour Government is the only government not to have actively supported its own country's gTLD application that would have secured Welsh control, governance and best economic benefit from its own online identity.

    1. Hi Anon, I don't know if you noticed but I have a link to the dot cym page at the top of the page on the right.

      Another problem we have is that due to inaction the .cym has gone to the Cayman Islands, surely .cay would have been better for them?

      In the grand scheme of things 180k is a pittance and would have been recouped quite easily, it could easily have been funded by those who would have wished to buy one. And it makes perfect sense to have both .cymru and .wales (.cym or .wal would have been better still).

      The .cym could lead directly to the Welsh language version of the site and the .wal to the English language version in a 2 for 1 deal. £10 for the pair. Not to mention the sales of web hosting, emails etc.

    2. A lot of innovative stuff could have been done with Welsh ownership of .cymru and .wales.

      Instead it will be governed in the interest of maximising profits for an English company. Welsh website owners will have to pay in effect an annual tax to an English company for their continual online presence and identity. It will not be £10 only, 2 for 1 etc. Expect tens of pounds per language. There's no knowing or control on how high this tax will be or knowing how much any of that money will come back to Wales for projects and/or jobs. There is a 'Welsh advisory committee' setup by the company, but is loaded with friends and members of Welsh Labour.

      There's no guarantee that the English company will establish a .cymru top level domain. Nobody in Wales can force them to and no-one else, because of ICANN rules and of Welsh Labour Government intentions, can apply for it instead. Expect protests and campaigning (again. as usual.) within the coming year, for a .cymru TLD while there'll be a .wales.

      So angry with Welsh Labour.

    3. So we need a boycott .Wales campaign. Until such a time as we have both a .cymru and a .wales that are both run from Wales by the people of Wales for the benefits of the people of Wales.

    4. Glad you agree about the principle of sovereignty of Welsh TLDs.

      I don't know how effective a boycott could be since it's a difficult issue to communicate and (at present) people don't think it really matters, that nobody uses URLs anymore, - they just go to Facebook, Google key terms, follow hashtags on Twitter. Count how many (web based) companies advertise on television with their name or jingle being or containing a URL (e.g 'We buy any car dot com'). URLs and TLDs matter a lot.

      A boycott would allow the less favourable, less well intentioned, those who love Wales less and Welsh (if at all), less quality customers, to buy up Welsh TLD real estate. The English company has us by the balls. A protection racket. I don't know what can be done. We're screwed.

      I should add to all this that I am not a member of, or am affiliated with, the dotCym campaign.

    5. Well I wont be registering a .cymru or .wales domain until such a time as it is based in Wales. Providing the people of Wales with jobs. Even then what is to say it wont just be a sub office of their main HQ in England?

      Surely when the time comes that our TLDs are devolved then anyone who is squatting on a domain will fall foul of any laws our Government may pass.

      Related news stories

      We could look on the bright side. There may be those who only become interested and/or involved in Welsh politics because of this TLD issue. People who were otherwise content with how things are but see that the only way forward for them or their business is via more powers to Wales.

      And these are exactly the kind of people that will help spread the messages in this new social media driven world.

  7. We have a long road to travel.

  8. My Labour MP...Ann Clwyd, Cynon Valley Representative, voted NO.

  9. Today is the day that the chickens come home to roost. The largest wind farm in England and Wales given the go ahead in the Glyncorrwg area to the outrage of locals. The decision made by a UK minister after our traitorous Welsh Labour MPs voted against devolving the powers to control energy production to Wales. No doubt the same Welsh Labour MPs will now criticise those nasty Tories who have forced this upon us, while our compliant media will do their best not to ask any embarrassing questions of our Labour masters in Wales.

    And on a related point, if we do have to have these inefficient monstrosities imposed on us can we at least have the turbines designed and manufactured in Wales, and such schemes run by Welsh based companies? At least then we would have the compensation of some skilled manufacturing and R&D jobs, and at least the hundreds of millions of subsidy would stay in the country rather than going strait into the foreign bank account of a Swedish company.

    1. The reason I created this site was to make articles like this for people to share. If you see your firends/family complaining about the Tories then don't forget to set them straight. :)