Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Doing Damage to Wales, our Nation.

Went out to the newly opened Castle Kitchen at Montgomery this morning (deserving of a separate post). Bought the Telegraph to read reports of yesterday's Royal Opening of the Third National Assembly. There's a report about a police inspector from Surrey who intends to put another officer on the beat in Brighton for the next full moon - and other equally riveting items. But of the Royal Opening - zilch.

Oh, except a dismissive piece in Celia Walden's Spy column about the two AM's who didn't attend because they are republicans. Really big help for Wales that was - I don't think. I've no objection to anyone being a republican - even if I think they are misguided. I don't object to them staying away - or telling their mates. And I've no objection to anyone who believes that Britain would be better off if we ditched our royal family from arguing for what they believe in.

But what these two did was publicise their intention to be absent for the purpose of spoiling and detracting from what was a great day for Wales - and for the creation of a law making Parliament for our nation (and I suppose theirs). They set out to ensure that almost every interview and every report of the event was undermined - and they succeeded to some extent. Leanne Wood and Bethan Jenkins caused damage to our nation and its people yesterday. Thankfully, the damage was limited and it still turned out to be a great day - even if the Telegraph readers have read none of the positives.

13 comments:

Christopher Glamorgan said...

Well said, Glyn! I was hoping that more AMs (and former AMs) would say more on the subject and speak up about the complete lack of respect those two members have shown. Whether a member of Plaid Cymru, Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Independent, or even the ‘Make Tom Jones Prince of Wales’ party, these AMs were elected by their constituents and are paid to take part in the government of Wales. They should support and fully recognise the National Assembly, its office, and in its present form - even if they seek independence from the UK.

http://glamorganshire.blogspot.com/2007/06/god-save-queen-and-boo-sucks-to-pc-two.html

Bwganbrain said...

Spot on!
John Davies, the historian, yesterday made a good point that he too did not support a Monarchy but for as long as they exist we might as well maximise their use.
I've always found it's easier to change things from the inside than the outside, so not being present was certainly an error.
Having seen the support for Prince Charles' visit today there are also a lor of people in Wales who still have time for the royal family.

Anonymous said...

You tell me another date in the calendar year when politicians can make a stand on republican issues.

You're a shrewd enough mind to know you've got to take your opportunities.

Those two women were standing up for a big chunk of the population that the suffocating status quo would prefer to think didn't exist.

Well, they do and the point was made very well.

It's absolutely ridiculous that in 2007 people still treat opponents of the monarchy in this way.

We bombed Iraq for democracy. Then a couple of women stand up for it in Wales and they are lambasted.

What a joke. They did us proud.

Glyn Davies said...

bwganbrain - I am a monarchist - but I can see that it is an illogical idea that I would not support if it wasn't there.

Whenever I consider the alternative, I find myself wanting to stick with a system that works. Pure democracy, unconstrained by precedent is a deeply dangerous notion.

christopher - I wouldn't have objected if they had just quietly stayed away. I would have just thought them misguided. I daresay they think that I, as a Tory am misguided about about somethings. What I object to is that they set out to undermine such an important day for Wales

Anonymous said...

the whole monarchy thing is outdated and should be scrapped. Leanne and Bethan stood up for the people

Glyn Davies said...

anon - there is no better example of the dangers of pure democracy than the decision to invade Iraq. A political leader used the instruments of power to mislead people into acting in an unwise way. This is why a system of checks and balances and limits on power are so important. I am a monarchist not because it is a perfect form of government - but the power of precedent that is inherent in it makes our British system of government work.

anon two - I have no objection to the two arguing their corner (I didn't even object to the Mrs Windsor) incident. But yesterday was about building our own parliamentary democracy under the gaze of the world. My point is that they deliberately caused damage to my nation.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - there is no better example of the dangers of pure democracy than the decision to invade Iraq. A political leader used the instruments of power to mislead people into acting in an unwise way. This is why a system of checks and balances and limits on power are so important. I am a monarchist not because it is a perfect form of government - but the power of precedent that is inherent in it makes our British system of government work.

anon two - I have no objection to the two arguing their corner (I didn't even object to the Mrs Windsor) incident. But yesterday was about building our own parliamentary democracy under the gaze of the world. My point is that they deliberately caused damage to my nation.

just one more said...

They expressed diversity of opinion - aren't you Tories meant to be about choice?
And it's come to something when even a monarchist admits that it's illogical... let's face it, Leanne and Bethan stood up for democracy on Tuesday and against the elitist system that bedevils Britain.
History will prove them right and their action to be both courageous and far-sighted.

Anonymous said...

Glyn, there was nothing democratic about the decision to go to war in Iraq.

It broke international laws. It later broke the Geneva convention on human rights. It undermined the UN.

In Britain, it was never put to the public in a party's manifesto. It went through parliament because of a dossier full of lies. And even then, parliament's role was only advisory. The power to go to war rests ultimately with the Queen.

You don't get less democratic than that.

We should be opening up our political institutions. The charade in Cardiff Bay made the assembly look totally naff and out of touch. Even more so because it was contrived to be that way when there was no real historical precedent to go about proceedings in that manner.

Ian said...

Glyn,

I am a republican although also an admirer of an 82 year old being such a hard working head of state. Yet I suspect that the criticism of my party colleagues for boycotting the Queen's visit has more to do with the insecurity of monarchists than anything else.

You justify your monarchist views by criticising the alternatives but what is wrong with the Irish model? Being born as head of state is a ridiculous concept in a 21st Century democracy and I am afraid that you have yet to say anything to persuade me otherwise.

Penddu said...

I am a committed republican and Plaid supporter, but I think that their action just shows how naiive and immature they both are.

I dont agree with the Queen having anything to do with the Assembly, but these two are paid to be AMs, represneting their constituents in the Senedd. They were not there, on arguably its most important day. They should have gone but issued a press statement that they were not pleased about it. They would have made their point and kept their credibility.

If they worked for a private company, they would be reprimanded, disciplined for bringing their organisation into disrepute. They should be suspended for the day and have their pay deducted IMHO.

Rant over.

Pads said...

"Bought the Telegraph ... of the Royal Opening - zilch.

"Oh, except a dismissive piece ... about the two AM's who didn't attend"

It hardly can be be said that all they acheived was "spoiling and detracting from ... a great day for Wales" - if wasn't for those two, the Assembly opening would not have been mentioned by the Telegraph at all. Ditto the rest of the English press.

Glyn Davies said...

Republicanism is an entirely logical and honourable position to take - probably more logical than a system that retains the hereditory principle.. But in our British constitution (or non) precedent is a very powerful balance. As far as Iraq is concerned, the elected Head of Government had too much power - a position which needs to be changed. The Monarch does not have much freedom to exercise the 'power' that she has - but the constraints imposed on the 'presidential' Prime Minister provide an effective check - for no reason other than it has always been that way.

penddu - its best left now. No sense in making martyrs of the two. It would only keep this Assembly damaging story going.

pads - I agree that there would probably have been no coverage. All the London based media do is look for some silly story. The Mail had a story about Carmilla's recycled wedding dress. I thought the republican two just helped reinforce the prejudice.