Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Voting in the Welsh referendum this week?

If so then read this from George Monbiot

The True Wales campaign, which is trying to prevent members of the Welsh assembly from legislating without permission from Westminster, has pulled off a cannier trick. It has refused to register with the Electoral Commission as the lead campaign against the proposal – which will be put before the people of Wales on Thursday. This means that it isn't eligible for free delivery of its leaflets or for airtime on the TV and radio. It also means that the yes campaign doesn't get this exposure either: the rules say that everyone dances or no one dances.

The result is that, with two days to go, hardly anyone here seems to be aware that a referendum is happening, or to understand what it's about and why it's important. The polls suggest that the no campaign hasn't a hope of winning: the best it can do is to declare the vote unrepresentative because very few people turn out. It has engineered a situation that makes this more likely.

So far so unsurprising. But the question that occurs to me is this: isn't the right supposed to be against big government?

Not all those who urge a no vote belong to the right, but this is where most of the opposition to both reforms is coming from. The No to AV group has yet to reveal who its financial backers are. But we know that the campaign director is the founder of the TaxPayers' Alliance, and that its cause is supported by the prime minister and most Conservative MPs. Among the few supporters of the no vote in Wales are prominent members of Ukip, the leadership of the BNP and a group called Christian Doctrine, which maintains that Jews have been persecuted because they are opposed to God's will and that "homosexuality is an abomination, deserving only of death". Most of these groups rail against the state and claim that they want us to be free from its intrusions. Yet in both these cases they are supporting big government against the people.

More on


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org