Thursday, 28 February 2008

Thoughts on the BBC Poll

A recent ICM opinin poll for the BBC has shown some increased support for devolution, but still nothing like enough. The poll shows that 49% of people asked want a full law making parliament and 42% against, compared to the 47% for and 44% against a year ago. This shows that the support is going in the right direction, however there is still 9% of people that are undecided, which would be enough, if a significant number of them voted against, to defeat a referendum.

If this trend continues, then there should, hopefully, be a large enough lead to warrent a referendum, however what has to be taken into account is the turn out for any referendum on full-law making powers, and which group would be more likely to go to the polls. If the lead is too narrow, and the turn out is low, it could result in a defeated referendum and set back devolution for a long time. The turnout to the refernedum might be what will win it at the end, and that will be something, I feel, that will be important for the convetion to look at, aswell as the support for or against devolution.

If we will have a refenerdum before 2011, should depend on when it can be best won, and when turnout will be at it's highest amongst yes supporters, blind faith that it can be won no matter when it is held will not help the devolutionist cause, nor will allowing the debate to be hi-jacked by talks of independence and nationalists, it must be kept on the reasons why Wales needs a full-law making parliament, and how that will make the Welsh Assembly a more effective insitution for Wales.

However the best way to put forward a case for devolution is to carry on delivering on public services to the Welsh people and show that Wales is working under the Welsh Assembly and that the Welsh Assembly is able to do it's job and do it well.

UPDATE: Watching Dragon's Eye it seems that a few people are somewhat confused between Full-Law Making Powers and Independnece, any Yes Campaign must make sure that it is clear that full law making powers does not mean independence and will not equal independence.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Why it is time for the BBC to "federalise"

In recent years the supposed English bias of the BBC has been a topic of many Welsh politicans, more recently Labour MP Chris Bryant, who has complained about the English bias with the coverage of the Six Nations rugby. This is not the first time that a politican has comaplained about the BBC either, Plaid Cymru MP, Adam Price and former Labour AM Alun Pugh have both also complained about either the coverage of Wales in the BBC News, or the bias of coverage in favour of England.

The evidence of bias is clear in the "Main" BBC News at both 6 o clock and 10 o clock with news reporting about English policy on health and education, yet they usually have nothing refering to Welsh or Scottish policy on the same issues, then there are the sporting events, where, for most of the time, they talk about the England teams and English players.

This is why the BBC need to "federalise" it's news and sports programming, the BBC is currently run from the South East of England, this is not good enough in the devovled era, especally in regards to media coverage of the Welsh Assembly and descions that are made their effecting the lives of the Welsh people. What needs to be done is that they should scrap the "main" BBC News and instead put "Wales Today" on for an hour, reporting on Welsh news, UK wide news and International news within that hour, that way the news can be more relivent to Wales, rather then having to listen to news about "Paitent in England under new government proposals....."

Of course the "federalised" news should, and would still report on UK wide news, such as the unpleasent stuff they usually go on about in the news (murder, death, etc) and of course on International issues that the "Main" BBC news currently reports on, it is not about isolationism in Wales, it about moving the news into the modern, devovled era of the United Kingdom, and making the news more relivant to peoples lifes in Wales. The BBC must not forget that the licence fee is paid for by everyone in the UK, not just the English who are paying it, and it is about time the BBC truely becomes a British Boardcasting Corproration, and not just one with the occasional nods to Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland.