Emyr Jones Parry on the All Wales Convention

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Emyr Jones Parry on the All Wales Convention

Post  MH on Fri 28 Nov 2008 - 16:20

Martin Shipton of WalesOnline has conducted a two part interview with Sir Emyr Jones Parry, entitled Will the Welsh Assembly become a proper Parliament? available on YouTube and embedded below:





One of the remits of the Convention is to raise awareness and improve understanding. I found this quote from the second part of the interview most interesting:


The level of support for devolution and the Assembly is really quite high ... 70%. I suspect that the intricacies of the devolution settlement are not understood by very many people ... partly because it is Byzantine, and the vocabulary is unexpected ... and to put it all together you need to tie a towel round your head to understand it.

We are trying hard to get the message across in terms which are non-patronizing, but are simple and communicate what is actually involved.
It strikes me that this is the key to getting an eventual "Yes" vote. We have to unravel these intricacies and present what we will gain by voting "Yes" ... and what we will lose by voting "No".

The prize is not in complicated arguments, or showing others that we understand it, even if they don't. Who on earth is going to believe someone who says, "Trust me, I'm a politician"? Of course we need to understand it, but winning the vote is going to hinge on getting the public at large to understand it too.

The parallel that should sober us is the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. The "No" campaign won on the basis of the slogan, "If you don't understand it, vote No."
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Re: Emyr Jones Parry on the All Wales Convention

Post  Draig32 on Sat 29 Nov 2008 - 3:54

First off, great new board, a bridge towards a future independent Wales - without any Trolls hiding underneath I hope!

Second, and to the issue in hand. For those of us concerned to get a "Yes" vote in a referendum, the existence of the Convention, an opinion-taking body, implies that we need a two-stage strategy, as the Convention's recommendations will lead to 2 key outcomes;

1) The Convention's recommendations will determine the LIKELIHOOD of a referendum.

2) The Convention's recommendations influence the TIMING of a referendum. Given that the Convention is due to report back at the end of next year, it follows that a referendum will likely be from Spring 2010 at the earliest onwards. The more positive the recommendations, the greater the likelihood of an earlier referendum, surely?

Acceptance of this interpretation for "Yes" campaigners implies a two-stage campaign;

Stage 1: feeding into the Convention as it deliberates in the first 6-8 months of next year. How do we influence the public mood?

Stage 2: On the back of positive recommendations by the Convention - gearing up to push for a "Yes" vote during the referendum itself.

In short, we have very little time, before the Convention starts it's work!

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Re: Emyr Jones Parry on the All Wales Convention

Post  MH on Mon 1 Dec 2008 - 21:08

Thanks, Draig. I think your analysis is spot on, and I've been giving it some thought over the weekend.

It seems to me that those who want to see a "Yes" vote in the referendum might well get caught between the two stages. We have tended to see the "Yes" campaign as something that will only really get going once the "starting pistol" has been fired, so all the political parties (Plaid included) have been sitting around waiting. Indeed in Labour's case, they have been instructed to do nothing until the AWC has made a recommendation.

To their great credit, the LibDems have agitated most to get something off the ground now, but in fact most of the running seems to have been done by the Wales First/Cymru Gyntaf group on facebook.



Even so, apart from attracting more than 1600 members, which is a great achievement, I don't particularly get the sense that it is making any breakthroughs ... although that might be because they are in the process of electing a steering committee.

My view is that I have little doubt that a referendum, whenever it is held, will be won. Therefore I don't get caught up in the "Catch 22" situation that many politicians seem to be in ... namely that they don't want a referendum until they can be sure of winning it. Therefore, I've come round to the view that the main focus of the battle right now is to influence the AWC, so that it can recommend going ahead with the referendum in late 2010 or 2011. We can get to grips with your Stage 2 only once we know that we're going to have the referendum.

So how do we influence the AWC? In my view they are looking for two things:

1. That the people of Wales sufficiently understand the issues involved to be able to make a meaningful decision.
2. That the people of Wales, understanding the issues, want the Assembly to get primary lawmaking powers.

However the way they will assess this is as a result of what the people of Wales say to them. This will happen in four ways:

1. The views of people in public meetings
2. The views of people who write to the AWC
3. The views of people or groups that give written evidence to the AWC
4. The views of people or groups that give oral evidence to the AWC

A lot will depend on the numbers of people that participate. So I think the major focus of our effort now must be to get people to participate in at least one, but preferably more, of these ways. I believe it's not enough to simply tell people that it's a good idea, but to offer positive encouragement including suggestions and examples of how to do it.

Plaid Cymru have already written to their members with a suggestion about the sort of letter people might write (2 above). My guess is that other groups like the LibDems are very likely to have done it as well. I think there is potential for a forum like this, and/or for a group like Cymru Gyntaf, to do the same so that we pick up people who aren't attached to any political party.

So I am starting two threads on this forum. First, about writing to the AWC with your views and second, about submitting formal written evidence to the AWC. In both threads I want to encourage people and groups to post what they themselves have written (either in draft, or in final form) so that others can see how they have done it, and use what they have written to help them write their own submissions.
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Dates of public meetings

Post  Aggressive Voltage on Tue 2 Dec 2008 - 2:34

How about adding the dates for the public meetings that the Convention is going to have?

Public events

Below is a draft list of the dates and areas for the public events we will be hosting. The exact venues, times and more details about the events will be published in due course. They may be subject to change, so please keep checking for more information.

* 14 January - Neath Port Talbot
* 15 January - Bridgend
* 5 February - Caerphilly
* 25 February - Conwy
* 26 February - Isle of Anglesey
* 4 March - Ceredigion
* 5 March - Carmarthenshire
* 24 March - Powys
* 1 April - Torfaen
* 2 April - Rhondda Cynon Taff
* 22 April - Denbighshire
* 23 April - Flintshire
* 13 May - Merthyr Tydfil
* 14 May - Monmouthshire
* 4 June - Newport
* 10 June - Vale of Glamorgan
* 11 June - Blaenau Gwent
* 25 June - Cardiff

Evidence gathering sessions

We are also planning a number of evidence gathering sessions, where individuals and organisations will be able to present formal evidence to members of the Executive Committee. These events will also be open to members of the public to present or observe. More details on these events and information on how you can apply to give formal evidence will be available shortly. Below is a draft list of the dates and areas for the evidence gathering sessions we will be hosting. They may be subject to change, so please keep checking for more information.

* 15 January - Swansea
* 5 February - Cardiff
* 26 February - Gwynedd
* 5 March - Pembrokeshire
* 25 March - Powys
* 2 April - Newport
* 23 April - Wrexham
* 14 May - Cardiff
* 4 June - Newport
* 11 June - Cardiff
* 25 June - Cardiff
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Terms of Reference

Post  Aggressive Voltage on Tue 2 Dec 2008 - 2:41

The All Wales Convention’s objectives are defined by the Terms of Reference, set by the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and based on the recommendations of the Establishing Committee.

The Executive Committee's job is to guide the Convention’s work, in line with the Terms of Reference, with the aim of generating a widespread and well-informed debate on devolution and the issue of the Assembly’s powers. Ultimately, the Executive Committee will need to analyse the views of the Welsh public, expressed through the debate, assess the level of public support for primary law making powers for the Assembly, and report to the Welsh Assembly Government by the end of 2009.

The full Terms of Reference are as follows:

• Raise awareness and improve understanding of the current arrangements for devolved government in Wales and of the provisions of Part 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, and their future implications for the governance of Wales.

• Facilitate and stimulate a widespread, thorough and participative consultation on all levels of Welsh society on the issue of primary law making powers.

• Prepare an analysis of the views expressed and the evidence presented through this process.

• Assess the level of public support for giving the National Assembly for Wales primary law making powers.

• Report to the One Wales Government on its findings, with recommendations relevant to the holding of a referendum.

http://www.devolutionwales.com/10702.file.dld
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Re: Emyr Jones Parry on the All Wales Convention

Post  Draig32 on Fri 5 Dec 2008 - 3:39

MH wrote:Thanks, Draig. I think your analysis is spot on, and I've been giving it some thought over the weekend.

It seems to me that those who want to see a "Yes" vote in the referendum might well get caught between the two stages. We have tended to see the "Yes" campaign as something that will only really get going once the "starting pistol" has been fired, so all the political parties (Plaid included) have been sitting around waiting. Indeed in Labour's case, they have been instructed to do nothing until the AWC has made a recommendation.

Yes, it was interesting that Labour's Chief Whip, Carl Sergeant, felt the need to throw his weight around a little bit over Bethan Jenkins' letter. The fact that he felt the need to impose party discipline, however, suggests to me that the ranks are far from united on this issue. Care to speculate on where the cracks might be?

To their great credit, the LibDems have agitated most to get something off the ground now, but in fact most of the running seems to have been done by the Wales First/Cymru Gyntaf group on facebook.



Even so, apart from attracting more than 1600 members, which is a great achievement, I don't particularly get the sense that it is making any breakthroughs ... although that might be because they are in the process of electing a steering committee.

Steering committee should be sorted fairly shortly. ;-)

My view is that I have little doubt that a referendum, whenever it is held, will be won. Therefore I don't get caught up in the "Catch 22" situation that many politicians seem to be in ... namely that they don't want a referendum until they can be sure of winning it. Therefore, I've come round to the view that the main focus of the battle right now is to influence the AWC, so that it can recommend going ahead with the referendum in late 2010 or 2011. We can get to grips with your Stage 2 only once we know that we're going to have the referendum.

I'm inclined to agree here, but I have a concern. We're headed for a VERY deep recession, and I think the opposition will cynically use the rapidly deteriorating economic situation to try and kill this issue. Paul Murphy is already arguing that we should be concentrating on "more important" things. Unemployment in Wales is rising more rapidly than anywhere else than anywhere else than the UK. The danger is that the collapse could be so deep that the Assembly will be viewed as ineffectual - this COULD feed into stronger support for more powers, but who's to say it couldn't go the other way?

We live in very unpredictable and volatile times...

So how do we influence the AWC? In my view they are looking for two things:

1. That the people of Wales sufficiently understand the issues involved to be able to make a meaningful decision.
2. That the people of Wales, understanding the issues, want the Assembly to get primary lawmaking powers.

However the way they will assess this is as a result of what the people of Wales say to them. This will happen in four ways:

1. The views of people in public meetings
2. The views of people who write to the AWC
3. The views of people or groups that give written evidence to the AWC
4. The views of people or groups that give oral evidence to the AWC

A lot will depend on the numbers of people that participate. So I think the major focus of our effort now must be to get people to participate in at least one, but preferably more, of these ways. I believe it's not enough to simply tell people that it's a good idea, but to offer positive encouragement including suggestions and examples of how to do it.

Yes. We need to get people enthused about this issue, and I think we need to be able to provide concrete examples of WHY a parliament is a positive step forward. In my area, I'll be looking to organise a public meeting/s on the issue early in the new year, but I think we need to look at ways of capturing people's imagination and catalysing the latent public mood.

Plaid Cymru have already written to their members with a suggestion about the sort of letter people might write (2 above). My guess is that other groups like the LibDems are very likely to have done it as well. I think there is potential for a forum like this, and/or for a group like Cymru Gyntaf, to do the same so that we pick up people who aren't attached to any political party.

So I am starting two threads on this forum. First, about writing to the AWC with your views and second, about submitting formal written evidence to the AWC. In both threads I want to encourage people and groups to post what they themselves have written (either in draft, or in final form) so that others can see how they have done it, and use what they have written to help them write their own submissions.

Still working on this. I'll come back to you!

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Re: Emyr Jones Parry on the All Wales Convention

Post  MH on Sun 4 Jan 2009 - 0:21

Here's another interview with Sir Emyr Jones Parry, from one of the three Dewi's at PoliticsCymru.

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