04/10/2007

West Lothian and the Tryweryn Question

We're frequently reminded of the "West Lothian Question", the situation whereby Welsh and Scottish MPs are allowed to vote on issues relevant to West Bromwich but not West Lothian (as Tam Dalyell so succinctly put it back in 1979).
It's a question that's never been properly answered during the devolution debate and growing powers for the Assembly make it even more absurd that Welsh MPs can vote on health and education matters, for example, that affect English constituencies but don't impact on their own voters.
This is often cited by English nationalists, usually in opposition to devolution. But there is less publicity given to what could be termed "the Tryweryn question".
Back in pre-devolution days, Liverpool Corporation's desire for water (mainly to supply industries that are now long gone) led it to Tryweryn, near Bala. An Act of Parliament was needed to permit the damming of the valley and the drowning of a Welsh community, Capel Celyn.
35 of the 36 Welsh MPs voted against the move but it was passed with the help of English MPs who knew nothing about the community they were voting to destroy.
Not surprisingly, the symbolic nature of the drowning of Capel Celyn in the 1960s still resonates among nationally minded people in Wales.
The manifest injustice then should not be perpetuated now. Welsh MPs should not vote on issues solely for England. There is therefore a clear case for a reduction of Welsh MPs in Westminster because the bulk of decision making on day-to-day matters in Wales takes place in Cardiff.
The savings made by reducing the numbers of MPs should be put towards increasing the numbers of AMs who can therefore scrutinise and hold the Assembly government to account more fully.
We have half-and-half a democracy at the moment, with neither half functioning properly.

Comments

I can't think of any English nationalists that raise the West Lothian Question (or West Glamorgan Question as it pertains to Wales) in opposition to devolution.

In opposition to the inequities thrown up by devolution perhaps, but not in opposition to devolution itself.

Posted by: Toque | 04/10/2007

I was hoping that my posting would highlight the iniquities of British centralist rule in Wales and put the West Lothian Question into perspective.

The only iniquity caused by devolution is that elected politicians in Wales still can't pass laws on matters relating to Wales without the express approval of the Wales Secretary (who could be a Vulcan) and Westminster, which effectively means getting English assent for Welsh laws.

Posted by: seren | 04/10/2007

In the past Welsh MP's will have had a hand in many Capel Celyn type situations in England.England has been bricked over many times and the ancient hearts of towns ripped out for ring roads. All this for faster transport to make money for the exchequer and a lot of that money will have gone to Wales. I read in the Cheshire papers recently that Plaid were complaining that the green belt around Chester was creating more incomers in to Wales. What they are saying is we will send Welsh MP's to Westminister to encourage mass immigration into England, they will create more wealth for Wales, but we don't want the immigrants or the English here.

Posted by: gadgie | 04/10/2007

If that's the level of debate from English nationalists, then we're not going to get very far.
The reason why large parts of England and Wales have been bricked over and old towns destroyed is because of the needs of multinational corporations and speculative developers are put before the needs of local people.
Saying that Wales benefits from its relationship with England does not make it a fact - the figures are not there, publicly at least.
Re: Chester's green belt. It's legitimate to ask why Chester is allowed to maintain its green belt when neighbouring counties such as Flintshire and Wrexham are expected to soak up commuter-belt pressures.
Your last comment about "mass immigration" reveals more about English nationalism than you might want to admit. No-one in Plaid is against migrants coming to Wales - the first Moslem Assembly Member is a Plaid AM. What we want is for English people coming to Wales to respect the existing culture rather than treating Wales as West Anglia.

Posted by: seren | 04/10/2007

Seren, I wasn't disagreeing with the main thrust of your argument. It stands to reason that the Welsh should have the final say on the flooding on Welsh villages, I didn't think I needed to say so because what reasonable person would think otherwise?

My only argument is that you appear to think that English nationalists would object to devolved decision making. We don't. I think you are confusing nationalists for unionists. Wales for the Welsh as far as I am concerned.

Posted by: Toque | 04/10/2007

The West Lothian Question is a British Unionist argument, agreed, but there seems to be an English nationalist undercurrent (see the posting by Gadgie) that wants to blame Wales for England's woes.
The best constitutional solution for all would be for all concerned - Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England - to have their own independent parliaments.

Posted by: seren | 04/10/2007

Yes, and there an even higher percentage of Scottish and Welsh nationalists that like to blame England for their problems.

It's not nations that are the problem, it's our politicians and our constitution. Agreed, we should have separate parliaments.

Posted by: Toque | 04/10/2007

The level of debate was set long ago by people like you.

Posted by: gadgie | 04/10/2007

The level of debate was set long ago by people like you.
Celt types and used to any one arguing back that's all.

Posted by: gadgie | 04/10/2007

Priceless.
Don't tell me... you were on holiday in Snowdonia and walked in a pub and they started speaking Welsh.
Next.

Posted by: seren | 04/10/2007

Seren,
are you seriously trying to say that there are no chippy welchers or what? Come off it. You lot enjoy arguing.
Anyway, stop trying to take the debate away from the real issues. Which are, why should welsh m.p.'s sit at Westminster in England and vote on English issues when firstly, they have their own parliament, (why don't they go and sit in wales assembly) secondly, they have no right to interfere in English issues, (you would say that English people do not have the right to interfere in welsh issues so why shouldn't we) and thirdly, English m.p.'s do not get to reciprocate, (this s obviously anti-democratic) i.e. they are not allowed to vote on Welsh issues?

Seriously, there is no need to get angry just because England trashed Australia in the rugby!

"Priceless.
Don't tell me... you were on holiday in Snowdonia and walked in a pub and they started speaking Welsh.
Next."

Oh I can see that you don't want to debate this at all. Oh well, you'll get over it. It looks like you would rather argue than debate. Typical! Anyway, everything I stated is true and you cannot deny that it's true. Hence, you turn this whole debate into a childish temper tantrum! Typical!

Posted by: M Anderson | 06/10/2007

Welchers?

And you wonder why we're chippy?!

I like a good argument but let's cut the abuse, eh? The bottom line is that I don't want any Welsh MPs in Westminster because I want an independent socialist Wales. As you accept that the current set-up - whereby decisions made by English politicians determine what happens in Wales - is anti-democratic, I'm glad we agree.

Posted by: seren | 06/10/2007

Oh touchy aint we? I dare say it's the same feeling I get when I walk in a welsh pub and the mugs in it call me an English prick in welsh! Know what I mean? You abuse us, we abuse you and so it goes on and on. Unless we stop it of course.

The bottom line is that I don't want any Welsh MPs in Westminster because I want an independent socialist Wales.

In my (sometimes) humble opinion, you should not want welsh mp's sitting at Westminster because it is absolutely undemocratic and fascist; not just so you can get your wetdream! So, you dont care about forcing another countries people to put up with your own countrymen? In that case, you must think it's acceptable! If you think this way why state...

"As you accept that the current set-up - whereby decisions made by English politicians determine what happens in Wales - is anti-democratic, I'm glad we agree."

How can you whine about English politicians "determin[ing] what happens in wales" but not say anything about your own countrymen doing the same thing in England? You must be completely hypocritical!
And, as everyone knows, it is the decision making UK cabinet who make the real decisions of government! Tell me, how many English mp's are there in the UK cabinet right now?
Of course the current set-up is anti-democratic, I never said it wasn't!

Posted by: M Anderson | 06/10/2007

In my (sometimes) humble opinion, you should not want welsh mp's sitting at Westminster because it is absolutely undemocratic and fascist

Can you explain that comment? In what way is it "absolutely fascist"?
Fascism is gas chambers, racism, ethnic cleansing.
Having Welsh MPs representing a part of the UK, no matter how much I disagree with that state, seems to be a basic democratic right.

Posted by: seren | 07/10/2007

In my (sometimes) humble opinion, you should not want welsh mp's sitting at Westminster because it is absolutely undemocratic and fascist

Can you explain that comment? In what way is it "absolutely fascist"?
Fascism is gas chambers, racism, ethnic cleansing.
Having Welsh MPs representing a part of the UK, no matter how much I disagree with that state, seems to be a basic democratic right.
Posted by: seren | 07/10/2007

Do you know what the definition of fascism is? It seems not. Fascism is not just gas chambers, racism and ethnic cleansing! Read below. New labour are anti-English through and through. SCOTTISH useful Idiot Brown is trying to keep England's people down by keeping England as part of a highly centralised dying state, i.e. the UK. That is fascism! He is the EU's dictator just like SCOTTISH useful idiot Blair was before him. He did not get to his position by democratic means; he got to be PM because of fascist undemocratic so-called tinkering. For tinkering read fascism! For tinkering read people being caught cheating with other people's postal voting forms!
New labour are attempting suppression of English nationalists, i.e. their opposition through terror and censorship, and typically through a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
They are oppressive and dictatorial. They crave control. They aint only doing this in England either. They are now attempting it in wales to. If you can't see it, you're blind. They do not want wales to become independent. Are you seriously stating that you cant see what new labour are trying to do in wales?
You don't agree that new labour are trying to control all aspects of society? You dont agree that all criticism of new labour is suppressed? I mean there are many kinds of suppression! Ignoring what people say is such. It is just less noticable. Do you think this conversation would be printed in the Times newspaper? I don't! No! Not making the common man's views heard by deliberately ignoring them is fascism. A proper free society does not suppress anyone's views.
You doubt that new labour are using fascist methods to suppress England's people. Correct? So killing English people by withholding needed cancer drugs isn't fascist? Yes it is. It is terrorising people. I know you would not look at it in the same way if they were doing it to welsh people! And don't give me any "well English people did that to wales" so it's okay because it's a lie! There has been no exclusively English only supposed UK government that has done this to wales! The scots have proved just how basic they are. In the long run they're going to pay for their shite! They are such idiots. The EU are just using them.

criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.
A fascist movement.

[Origin: 1915–20; < It fascismo, equiv. to fasc(io) bundle, political group (see fasces) + -ismo -ism]
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
American Heritage Dictionary
This fas·cism (fāsh'ĭz'əm)
A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppressing the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
Oppressive, dictatorial control.
[Italian fascismo, from fascio, group, from Late Latin fascium, from Latin fascis, bundle.]
fas·cis'tic (fə-shĭs'tĭk) adj.
Word History: It is fitting that the name of an authoritarian political movement like Fascism, founded in 1919 by Benito Mussolini, should come from the name of a symbol of authority. The Italian name of the movement, fascismo, is derived from fascio, "bundle, (political) group," but also refers to the movement's emblem, the fasces, a bundle of rods bound around a projecting axe-head that was carried before an ancient Roman magistrate by an attendant as a symbol of authority and power. The name of Mussolini's group of revolutionaries was soon used for similar nationalistic movements in other countries that sought to gain power through violence and ruthlessness, such as National Socialism.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
WordNet

noun
a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary (Beta Version) -

Fascism [ˈfӕʃizəm] noun

A system of government like that of Italy 1922-43, where all aspects of society are controlled by the state and all criticism or opposition is suppressed

fascism [(fash-iz-uhm)]
A system of government. As a rule, fascist governments are dominated by a dictator, who usually possesses a magnetic personality, wears a showy uniform, and rallies his followers by mass parades; appeals to strident nationalism; and promotes suspicion or hatred of both foreigners and “impure” people within his own nation.
Although both communism and fascism are forms of totalitarianism, fascism does not demand state ownership of the means of production, nor is fascism committed to the achievement of economic equality. In theory, communism opposes the identification of government with a single charismatic leader (the “cult of personality”).

Note: Today, the term fascist is used loosely to refer to military dictatorships, as well as governments or individuals that profess racism and that act in an arbitrary, high-handed manner.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Posted by: M Anderson | 07/10/2007

In my (sometimes) humble opinion, you should not want welsh mp's sitting at Westminster because it is absolutely undemocratic and fascist

Can you explain that comment? In what way is it "absolutely fascist"?
Fascism is gas chambers, racism, ethnic cleansing.
Having Welsh MPs representing a part of the UK, no matter how much I disagree with that state, seems to be a basic democratic right.
Posted by: seren | 07/10/2007

Do you know what the definition of fascism is? It seems not. Fascism is not just gas chambers, racism and ethnic cleansing! Read below. New labour are anti-English through and through. SCOTTISH useful Idiot Brown is trying to keep England's people down by keeping England as part of a highly centralised dying state, i.e. the UK. That is fascism! He is the EU's dictator just like SCOTTISH useful idiot Blair was before him. He did not get to his position by democratic means; he got to be PM because of fascist undemocratic so-called tinkering. For tinkering read fascism! For tinkering read people being caught cheating with other people's postal voting forms!
New labour are attempting suppression of English nationalists, i.e. their opposition through terror and censorship, and typically through a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
They are oppressive and dictatorial. They crave control. They aint only doing this in England either. They are now attempting it in wales to. If you can't see it, you're blind. They do not want wales to become independent. Are you seriously stating that you cant see what new labour are trying to do in wales?
You don't agree that new labour are trying to control all aspects of society? You dont agree that all criticism of new labour is suppressed? I mean there are many kinds of suppression! Ignoring what people say is such. It is just less noticable. Do you think this conversation would be printed in the Times newspaper? I don't! No! Not making the common man's views heard by deliberately ignoring them is fascism. A proper free society does not suppress anyone's views.
You doubt that new labour are using fascist methods to suppress England's people. Correct? So killing English people by withholding needed cancer drugs isn't fascist? Yes it is. It is terrorising people. I know you would not look at it in the same way if they were doing it to welsh people! And don't give me any "well English people did that to wales" so it's okay because it's a lie! There has been no exclusively English only supposed UK government that has done this to wales! The scots have proved just how basic they are. In the long run they're going to pay for their shite! They are such idiots. The EU are just using them.

Posted by: MANDERSON | 07/10/2007

The comments are closed.