Hunger strike for broadcast powers ends on Senedd steps

Elfed Wyn Jones at the Senedd

A young campaigner has brought his seven-day hunger strike to an end outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay today with an appeal for politicians to back the devolution of broadcasting powers to Wales.

Elfed Wyn Jones from Trawsfynydd has not eaten since last Tuesday as part of a campaign to transfer powers over broadcasting from Westminster to Wales.

The end of the fast came a day before a debate in the Assembly chamber on the matter, and the student presented a letter to the Welsh Government on the Senedd steps.

Speaking at the end of his seven-day stint without food, Elfed Wyn Jones said that the hunger strike “had not been easy” but that it was part of his “responsibility as a citizen of Wales”.

“I genuinely think that this is a crucial question for our democracy in Wales. If people don’t get the right facts about who is making decisions in their name, if they don’t understand how they’re governed, our young Welsh democracy is in serious danger.

“At the moment, fewer than half the population realises that the Senedd in Cardiff runs health, despite twenty years of devolution.

“Decisions about broadcasting in Wales have to be made in Wales if our politicians are to be held properly accountable for their actions.”

According to the results of a YouGov survey held last year, 65% of people in Wales support giving broadcasting powers to the Assembly while only 35% want politicians in Westminster to retain the power.


Heledd Gwyndaf, Chair of the campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said that Elfed Wyn Jones’ actions had “inspired a lot of people” and “kick-started a wider national debate”.

“A number of Assembly Members have also shown support over the years,” she said. “It’s time they now did something.

“As representatives of the people and as leaders of our country, they should take responsibility, pull their socks up and follow in Elfed’s brave footsteps and all those others who are prepared to break the law for this cause.

“Over fifty people are already refusing to pay their TV licenses as part of this campaign.”

An independent review of S4C is expected to be published soon. It is due to consider, among other issues, whether the responsibility for S4C should be devolved from Westminster to the Assembly.

A delay in publishing the conclusions of the inquiry, which were presented to the UK Government before Christmas, means the broadcaster does not know what its budget will be from April.

In 2013, the Silk Commission – a cross-party review commissioned by the UK Government – concluded that control over the government’s financial contribution to S4C should be transferred from Westminster to the Welsh Government.

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  1. Coch-y-bonddu

    Da iawn, Elfed! Thank you for your efforts which I am sure will inspire others to follow. Diolch yn fawr iawn i ti. Cymru am byth.

  2. Hywel Nantceiro

    Ie! Diolch am eich ymroddiad, Elfed Wyn

  3. Democratically Concerned

    Great work Elfed, really pushing for what is right. I don’t see how anyone could disagree with Welsh media being devolved to Wales. We have been promised it by the government in Westminster, and they should not tarry on it.

    This campaign has also allowed us to see the ugly side of British nationalism rear it’s head again.

    Anywhere Elfed’s campaign gained media attention online, the comments were horrendous. Comments calling for his death, hoping he starved to death, calling him a traitor e.t.c. This is the ugly side of British nationalism, and pages like ”Wales for a United Kingdom”, despite paying lip service to democracy and people’s democratic rights to protest for causes they believe in, seem to openly encourage this kind of discussion. Make no mistake, if you call or hope for the death of your political opponents, then you don’t believe in western liberal democracy. This is a frightening strand in the discussion, and it would not surprise me if the unionists started moving their anger from online forums and channeling it into political violence to stifle the discussion Wales is having concerning devolution and it’s -possible- independence.

  4. Yes, da iawn a diolch, young Elfed.

  5. CambroUiDunlainge

    Well done Elfed. Leading the way with the history petition and now this! Really inspiring for the rest of us. 🙂

  6. Graham John Hathaway

    I look into the darkness
    It asks no questions,
    And gives no sight.
    I feel the hooves
    Of galloping might,
    A gesture perhaps
    But mighty as light.
    I feel no sensation,
    I hear the night,
    It’s crow black, ink black,
    Pitta patta, pitta patta
    Of the grey rain.
    It pools and floods like lightening,
    In the cold wind and waves like air,
    Where life is won or lost,
    In the battle of hearts,
    Where blood runs cold, as cold as the grave,
    On marble, made in Wales.
    Where our clock ticks,
    Long and loud through our history,
    Of loin and cloth,
    Because that’s where the power of words
    And deeds
    Would like us to be,
    Enslaved in the grip
    Of their mastery.

  7. Elfed: diolch yn fawr iawn am eich safiad, a thrwy hynny tynnu sylw at ddiffyg sylw’r cyfryngau at faterion ein Cenedl.

    Nawr, i symud ymlaen i ddatganoli ‘pwerau’ darlledu i’n cynulliad annwyl:

    Will broadcasting in y Gymraeg, via S4C, or in inglish be safe in the hands of the marxist leniinists in the Bay of Caerdydd: very unlikely. They already have stated that S4C should ‘increase’ its inglish langauge component.

    We have to be very careful, not so much of what we wish for, but of what we will be given by our autocratic leaders.

    Recently, radio Cymru produced Rad Cym 2: now after years of moaning and writing letters about the inanity and general jibberish broadcast by rad Cym, i was so happy to hear the news: but no, the ‘new’ Rad Cym’ ”lite” was to be even more down in the gutter and opium den regarding meaningful content.

    And it isn’t just me that thinks this: in two discussions i’ve had with people whose opinion i value, one stated, what we need is intellectual content, how can a nation progress without ideas and their discussion; the other chap stated: i’ve long since given up on rad cym, because of the parochial nature of their news content. I want to hear more of world news and affairs in general.

    I concur with both viewpoints.

    So, Elfed bach, diolch, ond bydd rhaid i ni fod yn wyliadurus iawn efo arllwy cyfryngau a ariennir yn uniongyrchol gan Blaid Lafur Cymru.

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