Gareth Ceidiog Hughes
It has become clear that the Westminster establishment has failed the fine people of England.
It has run the country into the ground with its greed, ineptitude, callousness, and inexplicable self-regard. The people of England deserve much better than the Westminster elite. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to ask whether Westminster is fit to continue to govern our next-door neighbours.
England has shocking levels of inequality and the mob running the show has decided that it does not even want to feed poor children who are going hungry during a pandemic. We have taken a different path in Wales. Our government has decided not to let poor children go hungry. It is a decision both imbued with common sense and common decency.
The Westminster establishment has also inexcusably bungled the covid crisis. This has led to one of the worst death rates in the world and has crashed the economy in the process. Polls have shown that the policies of the Welsh Government to tackle the pandemic are not only more popular than those of the UK Government in Wales, but in England too.
Westminster is behind the curve on a nationwide lockdown. What you have in England is disfunction. Wales has already imposed a nationwide lockdown and Germany and Switzerland have cited Wales as a model to emulate. Now even England is having to follow suit after Westminster politicians sneered at and slagged off the Welsh approach. England is now having to go into lockdown for twice as long as Wales because of the dither, the delay and the delusion.
We have a much better covid track and trace system in Wales. The Westminster establishment has doled out billions of pounds in fat cheques to management consultants for a system that does not work. Wales on the other hand has wisely eschewed the incompetent management consultant route and has opted for a localised public sector approach. It has also come in at a fraction of the price.
There is a very simple and perfectly sensible solution to the plight of England and that is to abolish the Houses of Parliament and run it from the Senedd.
We wouldn’t want England to go without political representation of course, so it can have the percentage of seats in the chamber that Wales currently has in the House of Commons. This is around 6 per cent of the total. Seems perfectly fair to me.
After all, they believe it to be good enough for Wales at Westminster. Surely it more than enough of a say on their own laws, especially when you consider how badly their own politicians have screwed up.
This constitutional arrangement would unfortunately mean that Daniel Kawczynski, who called for abolishing the Senedd, would lose his job as MP for Shrewsbury. It is tough no doubt. But it is a necessary sacrifice for the greater good. As a gesture of good will and as the sign of the confidence that I have in his unique abilities, I would be more than willing for him to keep his job as the Welsh Government’s trade envoy to Mongolia. I would also be happy to throw in lifetime access to Welsh beaches, seeing as he is so fond of them. Magnanimity should be the modus operandi of Pax Cymrucana.
In keeping with this we will make English language access to public services a legal right. We will also permit people to use English within the legal system. We would also permit England to have the English language road signs. This however is contingent of the Welsh language being on the road signs too. If people in England get too uppity about this, we reserve the right to revoke this permission and make every road sign in England monolingual Welsh. All English people will be required to attain basic fluency in Welsh. However, they would only permitted to use the Welsh language when someone English walks into a Welsh pub.
The legal jurisdiction of EnglandandWales would be replaced with that of CymruaLloegr. The English flag would no longer be necessary. The flag of Wales with its awesome dragon is far cooler and it already has white on it, which can denote England.
We would, I’m afraid, have to impose a strict ban on English supermarkets selling non-essential items in perpetuity, you know, just for the lolz. I would like to sincerely apologise to sleb and budding expert on Welsh affairs, Davina McCall that it has come to this. I understand that the mere idea of such an Iron Curtain falling over woks, hairdryers and assorted celebrity biographies, causes her a great deal of distress.
We would of course have a second chamber. Naturally, it would be completely unelected, in keeping with Westminster traditions. It would be comprised of Gorsedd y Beirdd. They are a group of the Welsh great and the good who have contributed to our language and culture and so on. The sword used in their ceremonies would replace the mace as the symbol of sovereign authority.
Personally, I don’t believe that the position of head of state should be a hereditary privilege. But I know how much the English like the institution of monarchy, so as a compromise I am willing to make Michael Sheen our king. We Welsh are nothing if not accommodating. The House of Sheen does have a certain ring to it. He has something of the Llywelyn about him, perhaps something of the Glyndwr.
I believe this constitutional arrangement would be far more beneficial to the good people of England than the current mess. I have no doubt that the First Minister of Wales would treat the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, and more importantly the citizens he represents, far more fairly than Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings. The process would involve far more consultation than what is currently taking place and would lead to a far more equitable solution.
Remember, the Welsh are essentially the first Britons. We were here long before the Anglo Saxons and the Normans. To return Celtic rule to these isles is merely to restore the natural order of things when you think about it.
If this piece comes across as slightly absurd, and as a direct contravention of the principle of self-determination, then you would be correct. The article is of course ever so slightly tongue in cheek. But I am making a serious point.
This is how Wales gets treated all the time. It draws on how Wales has been treated historically and how it is treated now. Westminster politicians regularly make these sorts of boneheaded and arrogant comments about Wales. The validity of our right to make our own democratic decisions is constantly questioned.
When the London-based commentariat actually pays attention to Wales, it is usually to regurgitate nasty and banal old tropes and to turn the slightest controversy into an existential question about our democracy. But they do not do so from a position of strength. They are on the shakiest of shaky ground.
Why on earth would we want Westminster politicians to have control of Welsh laws then they have miserably failed not only Wales, but large swathes of England?
Many of the ridiculous arguments for abolishing Welsh democracy can just as easily be made about England. The proposal I’ve outlined is an inversion of what we in Wales are expected to accept. It would self-evidently be unacceptable to England and rightly so. It would be regarded as an insufferable democratic outrage. What England wouldn’t like, Wales is expected to lump.
Therefore, if it is unacceptable to England, then the question is, why the hell should we accept it in Wales?