54 Letters


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DEAR SIR, This week, I voted to support the

Wales Bill in the Welsh Assembly. This is a new law introduced by the UK Government to establish a different relationship between Wales and the UK Government. Since 1997, when the people

of Wales voted to establish the Assembly, there have been no fewer than four new laws to re- set the relationship. This latest Bill is more contentious than the previous laws, as with all the others there has been a significant transfer of power to Wales from the UK Government. This Bill is different, as it gives with one hand and takes with another. For the first time, the Welsh

Assembly will have control over its own rules and election systems. There will be more powers over energy, transport and the environment, over equality, and, significantly, over tax raising powers. But in the move to a more stable settlement which would be consistent with the Scottish model, there is a danger that powers could be clawed back from Wales to the UK. I was asked by the First Minister in Wales to return

temporarily to the House of Lords to try and knock the Bill into a better shape. We made significant advances, achieving concessions across a whole range of areas. It was these changes along with the fact that we need to batten down the constitutional hatches before we embark on the journey of leaving the EU which led us to vote for this new law. It is far from perfect, but it will give us a firmer financial and constitutional footing for the future. Eluned Morgan

AM for Mid and West Wales


DEAR SIR, For hundreds of years, one

pillar of British Conservatism has been that aristocrats have the right to govern common people. The idea is called feudalism, which is very similar to apartheid, in which the divide between superiority and inferiority is decided at the moment of a baby’s birth, when Conservative parents believe and agree that their own baby is inferior to an aristocratic baby born elsewhere. Can you explain how sane people could be persuaded, for generations, to such an immoral belief? It is

an ‘unnatural’ opinion which defies natural affection. Nowhere else do parents regard their own children being born and see them as inferior. I hope that no black parents living under the tyranny of apartheid ever believed such a stupid and wicked thing. They were too intelligent. Could there possibly be some

parents who do not think their children inferior, yet still think and vote Tory, just like those who do? Consider the nobility, who must sincerely believe that hereditary birth entitles them to govern us, otherwise they could not have the effrontery to take their seat. All Tories support that lunacy. Aristocratic rule still lingers

in Britain, but nowhere else within a democracy on the planet, as Tories have slowly lost the battle since 1911 to retain it. The modern Tory Party has adjusted, voraciously drawn to the worship of money, even without titles, so is changing its ideology slightly. But all the attitudes remain of a divided nation.

C. N. Westerman Brynna Mid Glam


DEAR SIR, In the 1640s, my ancestors

rode with General Sir Thomas Fairfax in favour of Parliament against the tyranny of the ‘star chamber’ - the unelected and unaccountable bodies appointed and used by Charles I to oppress the people of this land. The outcome of this period of history was the establishment of our parliamentary democracy. Should those in our society

who now think Parliament/Senedd should be circumnavigated again, for whatever reason, I ask them to think again. If our elected representatives do not represent the wishes or standards of propriety we expect of them, then surely they need to be made more immediately accountable to the electorate. In the 1830s, Parliament passed the Great Reform Act (Reform Act 1832), following a period of significant public pressure which strengthened our parliamentary democracy and made it more accountable to the electorate. Given we now live in an age

of instant communication, casting a vote once every 4 or 5four or five years is becoming redundant

and is certainly obsolete. Look, for example, of how many direct action email campaigns and petitions are being promoted, or tweets received, which in effect circumnavigates some of the need for hustings - and, after all, how many of us have more than 90 days, if that, of secure employment? Surely if our politicians are the brightest and best and have our interests at heart then it is now time to significantly reform our electoral system again after 190 years and make it fit for purpose in the 21st century. I would suggest giving the electorate a mechanism to recall politicians and make them accountable for their actions within the representative term of office.

John Darnbrook Pontwelli Llandysul


DEAR SIR, Because of the delicate balance

of numbers in the various political parties at Westminster, it is likely that the present government will fail a vote of No Confidence during 2017, and a General Election must follow, with only one issue - whether the UK should continue to exit the EU, or rejoin full membership. Northern Ireland will suddenly

find a topic on which all agree to return to the EU. UKIP will hope the two largest parties are divided so that opposition to UKIP will be divided. The Tory Party has sincere

differences on the subject, wishing to keep Westminster power, but unable to agree internally about a hard Brexit. The party politicians and voters may fracture as these separate factions are forced to define their own personal loyalty, by joining either UKIP or Lib Dem. Some Labour MPs will hope

to cling to past supporters by being vague about support for a hard Brexit but sympathetic to hopes for soft Brexit with access to the Common Market. So, they will unite around that as a compromise. With a single issue topic,

both extremes will increase, both UKIP’s hard Brexit, and Lib Dem, resurgent to rejoin the EU, as the best way to escape from chaos. We might end up with five

big parties - UKIP, Tory, Labour, SNP, Lib Dem - all of equal size at

Westminster, having to ‘do deals’ with each other as political parties do in Europe.

C. N. Westerman Brynna Mid Glam


DEAR SIR, Meet new people, learn new

skills and gain qualifications with youth charity Sea Cadets, which is encouraging young people and adults to see how they can get involved this February. We are urging 10 to 17-year-

olds seeking adventure and adults interested in volunteering to contact their local unit to find out more about the amazing opportunities available. Young people at Sea Cadets

enjoy a variety of activities, from dinghy sailing to catering, and have the opportunity to experience offshore voyages or to travel abroad to meet cadets from other countries such as Bermuda, Hong Kong and Australia. Nationally- accredited courses, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, are also available. But it doesn’t end there. Sea

Cadets, an all-inclusive charity, is committed to ensuring young people have a bright future, and with us they develop life skills that set them in good stead for whatever they choose to do in later life. More than 90% say Sea Cadets has given them higher self-esteem and offered ‘direction and guidance’. This would not be possible

without our amazing 9,000 volunteers – but we need more like them. You could make more of your free time by showing cadets how to sail, powerboat, kayak or windsurf, we will even teach you how, or by managing finances and budgets or fundraising for your local unit. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, and on top of that you can gain qualifications, boost your own CV and help young people to realise their full potential. If you do decide to join us – or

if you are already part of the Sea Cadets’ family – please spread the message on social media this February by using the hashtag #BestKeptSecret. You can find your nearest Sea

Cadet unit at: www.sea-cadets. org/find-your-nearest-unit. Captain Phil Russell RN Captain Sea Cadets

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