UKIP Fires Starting Pistol on Devolution Debate

You won’t find it reported media but, a fortnight ago, the National Assembly for

Wales held an historic vote on its own abolition.

UKIP’s Neil Hamilton tabled an amendment to a Brexit Party devolution debate, forcing the Senedd chamber to vote on its own existence for the first time in the institution’s history.

Plaid Cymru, Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem Assembly Members closed ranks,

voting to preserve their salaries and stay onboard the Cardiff Bay Gravy Train. The

Brexit Party, who still claim they want to “Change Politics for Good”, refused to vote.

Instead, they clumsily fumbled around the edges of the real debate on abolition. The

political voyeurs looked on from the side lines, while others championed the cause to

save Wales from overpaid, out of touch Assembly politicians.

The Conservative opposition, led by Paul Davies, reaffirmed their absolute

commitment to the Bay vanity project. The Welsh Tory Leader was backed by his

Pembrokeshire colleague, Angela Burns, who argued for MORE Assembly Members

because the current bunch aren’t doing their job. During a passionate plea to her

fellow AMs, Mrs Burns said, “How many times do people (AMs) not turn up to

committees, read the papers, bother to do accurate scrutiny and not bother to read

legislation?” There are 3 million people in Wales. How many think the answer to our

problem is more politicians on £65,000 a year? Angela Burns truly is one in a million.

Last month, YouGov published a poll showing 25% of voters want the Assembly

scrapped – the highest on record for over a decade. Reporting on the poll, the Welsh

media remained deafeningly silent on abolition and, instead, reported a growth in

support for Welsh independence at the lower figure of 21%. Despite the media

blackout, the people of Wales are not blind to the Assembly’s abysmal record on

health, education and take home pay for hardworking men and women throughout

the country.

The next Assembly election is a little over a year away. It is increasingly clear that

this election will be focused on one thing: should the Welsh Assembly be scrapped?

At their conference in Llangollen last week, the Welsh Tories did what they do best -

sit on the fence. According to Paul Davies, “devolution is not the problem, the Welsh

Labour Government is”. Since 1999, the Conservatives have lost all five Assembly

elections. In a recent YouGov poll, only 6% of voters want Mr Davies as First

Minister, while 71% said they “didn’t know”- a fine endorsement of devolution.

Meanwhile Labour, fearing their worst Assembly election result since 2007, continue

to cosy up to Plaid Cymru by stepping up their Indy-curious rhetoric in preparation for

coalition government.

By forcing a vote on Assembly abolition, UKIP has fired the starting pistol on the

devolution debate. The next 14 months are crucial for Wales. Assembly-sceptics

must rally behind a party committed to a referendum and unafraid to challenge the

Political and Media Establishment in Cardiff Bay.

Will you make 2021 the year we Save Wales and vote to Scrap the Assembly?

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