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Senedd voting system part of ‘Blairite’ elite plot to ‘smash’ the United Kingdom claims Peter Hitchens

08 Jul 2022 4 minute read
Peter Hitchens by Nigel Luckhurst (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Introducing proportional representation at Senedd elections was part of an underhand elite plot to “smash” the United Kingdom, according to Daily Mail columnist Peter Hitchens.

The author and journalist claimed that introducing the PR voting method for Welsh elections in 1999 was part of a “Blairite” plot to bring the same voting system in for General Elections and ensure that left-wing governments were in power in perpetuity.

“When Anthony Blair and Gordon Brown smashed up the United Kingdom 25 years ago, they did not just propel Scotland and Wales towards independence,” he said.

“They realised that most people would not look at the details, and took the chance to introduce PR, in the form of the additional member system to the new Scottish and Welsh mini-parliaments which resulted.”

He added: “One day, this may turn out to be the model for the national republic the Blairites long for, but will never admit they want.

“Like their vandalism in the House of Lords, where they trashed the hereditary peers, it was a subtle move towards the day they secretly long for and never discuss in the open — when they abolish the monarchy.”

Warning that PR will become a reality if a Labour-Lib Dem coalition rules the UK after the next General Election, he said that “we may be very near the end of British Parliamentary Democracy as we have known it.”

‘Crazy’

Detailing his opposition to Proportional Representation, Peter Hitchens said that it would destroy an “arrangement that goes back to the very beginnings of our Parliament”.

“In a proportional representation (PR) system, all these safeguards vanish,” he said. “All its bargains are made in secret after the polls close, rather than in the open, before the voting starts.

“Parliament becomes an elite conspiracy against the voters, rather than a cockpit in which the angry divisions of the country are constantly reflected and echoed, a safety valve preventing political violence and revolution.

“Vote how you like in PR countries, but you have very little control over who keeps, gains or loses office after the election. All that is done in closed negotiations among the political class.

“Tiny parties can hold on to power despite having few votes, and demand the pursuit of crazy pet policies in return for propping up larger parties.”

‘Strengthen democracy’

Last week Welsh Labour voted overwhelmingly to further reform how Senedd elections take place. 75.64% voted for the changes and 24.36% against at a special conference.

Proposals to expand the Senedd to 96 members and change the voting system had already received support from a majority of Senedd Members.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “I am delighted that Welsh Labour delegates have today decided to support Senedd reform.

“Today’s vote will strengthen Wales’ democracy, secure the future of our Senedd and ensure people across Wales are better represented – reflecting the modern Wales in which we live.”

Three unions closely affiliated with Labour had however had said that they opposed the reforms, saying they were concerned they could make it harder for Labour to hold on to power in Wales.

GMB, Community and Usdaw were understood to be against the proposals. In the end however they passed comfortably.

Welsh Labour MPs Chris Bryant and the party’s deputy leader Carolyn Harris had also criticised some aspects of the plans.

Rhondda MP Chris Bryant had said that his party branch had “voted unanimously” to oppose the plans because the new constituencies would be too large.

“Although we support reform in principle, the Rhondda Labour Party voted unanimously last night against the present proposals for reform of the Senedd,” Chris Bryant said.

“We object to electing six representatives in each 200,000 constituency on closed lists. It will make MSs much less connected to local people.”

The Welsh parliament voted last month to rubber-stamp the reforms which will see the number of members expanded from 60 to 96.

The 32 Westminster new constituencies will be paired to create 16 large constituencies, electing six Senedd members each.

Senedd elections will also use closed proportional lists with integrated statutory gender quotas, in practice giving parties full control over their list of candidates.


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

The last time Peter Hitchens piped up, it was about the idea that England could vote to leave the Union and go it alone. He was on to something there and should return to that idea. That way, he can keep his beloved first past the post system with Tories in power ‘in perpetuity’ whilst Wales and Scotland can choose a different system which will ensure a proportionate Tory presence in their Parliaments (I.E. Small) in line with the wishes of those nations’ electorates who repeatedly signal to deaf ears and ignorant minds that THEY DO NOT WANT THEM!

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Wasn’t it 49% of English want to ditch Scotland (and hopefully us!) for independence?
I think Lee Kwan Yu cried on TV when Malaysia ditched Singapore, but through hard work Singaporeans have made a great success. So, whichever way we become independent we can do the same.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

Nothing short of tragic that his older brother (christopher) is no longer with us but this vainglorious self opinionated oaf is.

Ap Kenneth
1 month ago

Democracy in the UK means voting once every 5 years and being quiet for the rest of the time even though any UK goverment only has the support of a minority of those that bother to vote. As for “All its bargains are made in secret after the polls close, rather than in the open, before the voting starts.” I think he is describing the present sysytem rather than PR eg privatisation of Channel 4.. Any form of democracy has to involve citizens at evrey turn and FPTP just does not do that.FPTP responds to vested interests eg City of… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

Fgs Welsh Government need to crack on with this. Enough with the foot stamping from the unionists.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

But, Introduce STV rather than the list system.

Marc
Marc
1 month ago

“we may be very near the end of British Parliamentary Democracy as we have known it.”
This says it all , it’s not democracy, it’s democracy as we have known it ! In other words ‘first past the post’ is not democratic at all.

arthur owen
1 month ago

I also have doubts about the voting system.But with friends like PH who needs enemies?

Stephen John Owen
Stephen John Owen
1 month ago

It has nothing to do with Peter Hitchens what system we have in Wales

Iorwerth ap Wyllt
Iorwerth ap Wyllt
1 month ago

So the labour cabal plan to rule the UK forever by giving independence to the only left wing voting nations in the union?

Wales has voted labour for almost as long as labour party has existed, why would labour want to lose out on those ever shrinking guaranteed seats? If anything, the tories would prefer to see Wales leave the union as it reduces the proportion of opposition voters.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Oh sure Peter Hitchens. Tony Blair deliberately gave only Wales a talking-shop Assembly with only 60 AMs so we could wait 22 painful years before we won a hard-fought right to become a legislature after a 600 yr absence in 2011, changed it back to its original name Senedd Cymru in 2020 , then after much debate, public consultation culminating in a Welsh Labour members vote to expand the Senedd to 96 and change the voting system so we can now smash the United Kingdom, lol . You deluded flat earth , tinfoil wearing, conspiracy theorist, Unionist fool! 🙄 You… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

Mind your own business please, Mr Hitchens. This is Welsh business for the Welsh people.

Crwtyddol
1 month ago

“Like their vandalism in the House of Lords, where they trashed the hereditary peers,
With these words he confirms he is un-democratic in his views and therefore no more needs to be said; you can dismiss him accordingly

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Judging by the amount of articles in the UK press regarding what we are doing or thinking of doing, the establishment over the border are worried. The press is the mouthpiece of their thoughts, and they are getting more aggressive with how they report on Cymru, varying how they report, between fake outrage, and trying to belittle us. We must be moving in the right direction to solicit this.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Hurrah, you’ve got it! This is the way they deal with the world, even after Suez. Liz Truss even wants to take on China………….China!

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

😀

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

An ultra- Conservative like Hitchens bitching about democracy? Satire died.

We are about to see a new Prime Minister of the UK selected by a party whose total membership is 0.075% of the UK population. We are likely to be ruled by someone with fewer than 20,000 votes.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Peter’s been sniffing those odd powders again. Comes over all cantankerous and spoiling for a scrap. Groping around for a purpose in life like a lot of the Unionist commentariat

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Is groping a prerequisite of being a member of the Tory establishment. 🤣🤣

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Multi tasking at the deviant end of the spectrum – groping, lying, fiddling, fraud, – and that’s just at entry level !

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

This man talk through his backside, always has done. Ignore him.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

I always enjoy Peters outbursts and thank him for them – I had not realised he was out and about again ….along with DET’s annual pre Eisteddfod outbursts in August..they both add to life’s colour and just remind us of Wales in 1999…

Hywel
Hywel
1 month ago

We’ll likely be seeing increasing focus on this by the English press as time goes on. Like many things unpalatable to the establishment and their rags, as soon as you start seeing them rubbish it, you know you’re on to a good thing.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago

Using the party list voting system will be a step backwards on the additional member system we have now. Party lists will disconnect individual local candidates from their constituents, and discriminate against any independent candidates from standing for the Senedd. The better system will have to be Single Transferable Voting system STV. STV will enable the electorate to vote for their prefered individual candidate as their first choice and other candidates as the next prefered as 2nd, then 3rd… so on. This system will also provide a voice for voters to express policies by voting for the candidates who highlight… Read more »

Llefain
Llefain
1 month ago

This man is an empty suit and an empty skull who clung to his more famous brother’s coat tails and name after his death to make a pretence to being a thinker, a wit, or an orator.
The less said about him the better. The less said by him the better still.

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