Saturday, 29 March 2008

Divergence of Logic or Law? It Certainly Isn't a Lack of Protection!

This post reflects my views on the unfolding situation on the divergence of ideas between WAG, namely Edwina Hart AM and some members of the Parliament at Westminster, on the proposed measures for the protection of NHS staff: BBC News Link: Here.

Peter Black AM passed these comments on his blog "It cannot be right that NHS workers in Wales have any less protection than those in England."


"I can see no logical reason why the Welsh Assembly Government might want to opt out of these criminal justice measures. It really does look like they were more concerned about making a point about devolution rather looking after the interests of the staff."

NB. I take Mr Blacks views as the general consensus for those who are opposed to the stand that Ms Hart has taken on the issue.

Firstly, will the Criminal Justice System measures protect staff? The answer is obviously a resounding no. It must be noted that these measures will be a Criminal Law, if this law is broken it is Regina who will bring proceedings against the accused, and Regina is the Queen. The use of the word protect has baffled me! The Law governs how we live our lives it does not protect us from evil, only when the rule of the law is broken does it step in as a reactionary to punish those who have not abided by it. As such, it provides no proactive protection. It should not be commented on by the journalists of this country as such.

Secondly, Without a divergence from the English Criminal Justice System what is the point of devolution? If Wales doesn't make a divergence from the English Law then it will in the future succumb to it. If it is never diverged from it will give legitimacy to the Centre (Westminster) to repeal the Government of Wales Acts and whatever comes after them, by simply stating that "The Welsh did not see any need for devolution, they followed Westminster's lead on all issues relating to the law and as such we see no need for a settlement which only doubles the amount of bureaucracy and the cost for the people."

He also runs the risk of pitting the worker against WAG! Why must this be the case? Practical and not Legal solutions must be the way forward, and I hope to comment on these as soon as they are made available by WAG.

It's time to show that Welsh politics have come of age. WAG need to use this as a litmus test and prove that they can achieve their own goals without the support of English Law. This for me is a fundamental day for Welsh Devolution, many people may not agree with me, but some time not too far from now we may look back and see what Ms Hart has done lately as one of the biggest steps over the last decade of finding a Welsh solution. Lets not be so conservative with such issue and embrace radicalism, a favoured welsh form of politics.

This is still a work in progress and a very rough draft of my thoughts on this issue, I welcome your comments.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Let us remember Galileo Galilei

I comment here on the issue surrounding the Embryology Bill at Westminster. The Catholic Church's outburst on this issue, whereby they disagree with the three line whip that has been placed on Catholic Labour MP's such as Paul Murphy and Ruth Kelly.

Firstly the way in which the Catholic church have been able to manipulate the debate on to their playing field is perhaps somewhat of an own goal. They are arguing that Catholic Labour MP's should have a free vote on this issue, but this begs the question why should the religious conscience of an elected official be called in to question? Should they not think "What is in the best interest for my constituents?" not "What is in my best interest in the eyes of my God?."

We now live in a mainly secular society, if the political elite can not put themselves before their electors then democracy itself is at a loss.

What I have personally drawn from this saga is not the issue of Religion v. Science but the whole issue of the Party Whiping System. I for one disagree with this system in its entirety (there must be a less authoritarian way for party's to function), i'm sure if an organisation had issues with this bill, it would have been a great deal more favourable for them to have discredited the non-emotive discussion of the whip system rather than the overly emotive subject of Religion v. Science.

As one friend has mentioned to me, "Elected representatives need to remember that it's the party and the people who got them elected and not the Vatican [or any other organisation]."

One last note. Let us remember Galileo Galilei and what happend to him when he gave birth to Modern Science, he was suppressed by the Vatican. I would have thought that the Vatican would have learnt its lesson the first time round?

The Conscience of a Nation?

This posts' subject is the deportation of the deceased Ama Sumani. I hope to approach this not from the subjective ethical grounds of compassion but to look at the less emotive issue of the law. I do not wish to insult any one but to have an open debate over this issue.

For Background Information:

Alun Michaels MP stated "Isn't the debate really about the quality of treatment and medical services available in her own country?" I suspect that this could be part of the debate yet I disagree that it is the debate.

The First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM Compared the case of Ms Sumani to that of 19 year old midfielder for Watford, Al Bangura from Sierra Leon. His visa had expired but was given a further extension to apply for a work permit.

Mr Morgan Said: "It does make you think if it's okay for the footballer to have this treatment, shouldn't that apply t this person in need of dialysis, from Ghana?"

Glenys Kinnock MEP went further and questioned the Home Office why Ms Sumani's case could not qualify for the Border and Immigration Agency's "exceptional circumstances" provision, furthermore Mrs Kinnock said that "life and death" cases should be treated with "humanity and compassion"

Mr Morgan makes a valid point, we should treat all cases with equality, but the cases in this instance were not equal in subject matter.

What I've deduced from this quite tragic situation is thus. We all live under the same single Law, we are all subject to this law and as such must abide by this Law. I know that this is a very cold and callus way to approach the subject, but it is the only non-emotive way. To make exceptions to the law is quite frankly a drip-drip effect in to anarchy. The law rarely sees the grey of humanity and compassion, it rests upon the Black and White of rules and regulations. So for future reference if certain members of our political elite wish for a situation like this to occur again then must act as visionaries and change the law and not act as reactionaries and try to effect the law in a piecemeal way.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Ignorance and Arrogance

I'm sitting here watching inside:sport on BBC 1 Wales. Gaby Logan is the interviewer and she is interviewing the English Sean Edwards defence coach of the Welsh Rugby Team. Edwards and his boss Warren Gatland seem to be the welsh talismen of the moment. I am delighted that Welsh rugby has won its second grandslam in 3 years and only conceding two points. It is not this that i have a grievance with. It is the fact that even though Wales won the grandslam this program on BBC 1 is only discussing the issue of the English coaching establishment letting Edwards and Gattland slip through their hands, no mention of a 'well done' or anything of the sort.

It disappoints me that such ignorance and arrogance has emerged so blatantly. It makes me proud to think of Gwynfor Evans' plight with S4/C and those many other inspirational people who had the passion to bring forward a medium for welsh only communication. Today we now have BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Radio Wales, so isn't it time for BBC 1 Wales to be about and for Wales?

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Y Cymry

Old School Nationalism? The Us Against Them Debate. Does it need to be so? Is it not time to re-engage with the electorate instead of turning 2/3rds of them off?

If we turned nationalism on its flip-side then what would we have? Y Cymry, aptly translated to Compatriots in the English tongue. The next question one should ask ones self is, what does Compatriotism mean to the people of Wales? It means, the people of Wales producing a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

It’s the social glue that binds us all together, from Glyndyfrdwy in the North East to Ty Ddewi in the South West. We all live on this fertile soil, this is what joins us in pursuit of happiness and good health.

We must never forget that Welsh Culture, Language and the people have evolved over the millennia. This should be the shining light that shows us, that the time for Nationalism has ceased and we now awaken in a 21st century where we can cherish with hindsight the endeavour of the welsh people and learn from their achievements, and not be constrained by them.

To quash the idea of Nationalism is not to throw thousands of years of Welsh heritage, culture and language on to the stack heap of ignorance. It is to look to the future with this deep, rich and wonderful past ever present in the back of our minds.

It is the time for us, compatriots, the Welsh people to plan ahead and create a Wales that we can all be proud to live in. It must be said, that this will be no easy task. We must remember to look forward and never back.

Devolution has given us the people of Wales a voice after centuries of deficit. We must embrace this. Autochthonous development of devolution spreading from the epicentre of Cardiff Bay is showing how we the Welsh people are able to develop and plan a future for ourselves. The National Assembly for Wales was created as a Corporate Body, some may say that this was nothing more than a talking shop. However, with successive developments we have our Virtual Parliament and a day not too far away now, we will have our own establishment that will produce Welsh Law for the Welsh people, and we will have control over our future.

Compatriotism not Nationalism is the guiding light for the Future of us Welsh people.

"The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality." (George Orwell)

The abiding purpose of every Compatriot is to be bound together to secure a better future for oneself, ones family and ones community. Feel proud of your Nation but don’t become it’s Slave, make it work for you, and together you can make it work for all.