Sunday, 3 April 2011

You can have anything you want ...

... as long as I want to give it to you.

"I would like to be part of Naom Chomsky's ".... democracy where the people participate", unfortunately, not in Wales. It seems participation is restricted to election time, otherwise you can participate, but only if the outcome is largely irrelevant.

Do you want to save a bridge for cultural reasons, no problem, we will build a new bridge alongside the old, the best of both worlds, I don't disagree with the sentiment or outcome, it happened in Ponty.

... old in the foreground, the new seemingly underneath, but the decision to keep the old and maintain it in perpetuity is only a line on a balance sheet, politically irrelevant.

Let me digress slightly ...

Next months elections to the Assembly has produced a few forgettable promises that mean very little, for example ....

The Conservatives ...... Create a government manufacturing strategy, aimed at safeguarding jobs and supporting the creation of new hi-tech businesses.

The Labour Party ...... Foster a new relationship with the business community and social partners, led by the first minister.

The Liberal Democrats ...... Develop a Jobs and Growth Innovation Programme to include an increase in the number of patents, establishing business-mentoring schemes and upgrade old manufacturing sites for new jobs.

Plaid Cymru ...... Support 30,000 apprenticeships and develop a high value in-work training programme.

The operative words are Conservative - strategy, Labour - foster, Liberal Democrats - develop, Plaid - support.

In other words, much like Ponty bridge, forgettable sound-bites without substance designed so that there will be no sleepless nights for our Wales politicians.  There are a few elephants in the room, but with a clever use of blue smoke and mirrors, our politicians will use other organisations to fire the bullets of justice, planning for large scale power generation, teacher recruitment and pay, these are issues that will scare the pants off the electorate, so will be dealt with as below the line accounting, hidden that is until it is too late for an effective debate.

Noticeable by its absence is "tax raising powers", this is another area that could cause the electorate to rise up at any time and say "No".  Our politicians in Wales are lazy, maybe not physically lazy, but democratically lazy, they seem to enjoy the trappings of power without any real responsibility, cry foul I hear ...... from politicians that is ......

...... the NHS, there has been extensive criticism about a £billion miss-spent and a refusal by the Health Minister to debate the issue. 

...... the £600 per pupil year underspend when compared with other parts of the UK, what about it, there is no mechanism by which the elected Wales Assembly members can demand a reason and get an answer why our children are disadvantaged by government priorities.

In fact we are kept in the dark as to where the money was actually spent regarding both issues, be rest assured the funding was received by WAG and it is known how the money was either misused or diverted.

Though, if the First Minister sees advantage in a fundamental change to our democracy it is possible, the 5th May referendum for the "Alternative Vote" is an example that First Minister Carwyn Jones embraces and suggests it should be adopted in the Assembly.  Early indications are that the Labour Party may have a decisive advantage if AV were adopted by the Wales electorate.

So, as I started, so I will end .....

You can have anything you want ...
                        ... as long as I want to give it to you.

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