I canvassed in favour of a Yes vote in the 1979 Devolution Referendum. At the beginning of the campaign there was a considerable amount of enthusiasm for the proposal in Merioneth. As the campaign progressed I saw that enthusiasm wane into indifference and even into outright hostility. As the likes of Neil Kinnock, Leo Abse and Donald Anderson made their tirades against the Welsh language, Welsh culture and the dreaded monsters that lived to the north of the Beacons the opposition to devolution grew stronger. The starting message of the 1979 campaign was that Wales was being ignored by Westminster so we needed a parliament of our own. As the campaign went on fervent Nationalists were telling me that they would prefer Welsh issues to be ignored by Westminster rather than be oppressed by the likes of Kinnock etc in a Welsh parliament.
One of the arguments made by Plaid Cymru in favour of campaigning for enhanced devolution rather than ought right independence is that if devolution works well for Wales, then the people of Wales will embrace the process and demand more and more powers for Wales. Opinion Polls suggest that there is an element of truth to Plaid's theory and as time has gone by support for devolution has increased substantially, but every attempt to move the process of devolution on is stymied by the same old opponents of Welsh self determination – the Labour Party.
In the four years prior to the 2011 referendum all of the talk was about parity with Scotland which seemed to have massive support amongst the electorate. It was only in the statuary period three weeks before the vote, that honesty entered the campaign and we were told that the actual referendum would be on a cosmetic issue!
The first volume of the Silk Report suggests another referendum on another cosmetic issue that won't be held for at least another 10 years, I'm sure that the second volume will contain even further obstacles to attaining what many thought they were voting for a year and a half ago.
In the meantime the Labour Government in Cardiff is doing what the cynics of 1979 were predicting: Ruling Wales poorly in order to prove that Wales can't run its own affairs. We have had a Labour Government since the beginning of Devolution and in that time it has lowered Wales' economic performance, worsened the health of the nation, inflicted poorer education on our kids and encouraged maximum immigration of non Welsh speakers into the Welsh Language Heartlands.
Broadcasting has been administratively devolved to Wales since the 1950's. Before the creation of the Assembly we had Teledu Cymru, TWW, HTV Wales, BBC Wales, BBC Cymru, The Welsh Light Programme, Radio Wales, Radio Cymru, S4C and a number of regional broadcasters. Local broadcasting within Wales is likely to expand over the next few years. As the media has been practically devolved for so many years, one would think that the governance of broadcasting should naturally be devolved – but Labour is opposed to devolving broadcasting!
Some have laughed at the unfortunate timing of the Welsh Labour Government asking to pull an episode of a soap opera on the day that Lord Levison published his report on statutory control of the press. I don't think it's funny, unfortunate nor an accident. It is another case of the Labour Party deliberately creating a situation which proves that Wales shouldn't have broadcasting devolved, because Wales can't be trusted, even in the case of the editorial independence of Soap Operas. Labour attitude through and through.
The Evolution of Devolution project has failed, and failed miserably, it's high time that all of us who support the National Cause - Left or Right- In Plaid or anti-Plaid – Cultural, Political, Economic and every other sort of Nationalist to give up on the Devo project and go four square for independence, because at the current rate Wales will become extinct before it evolves or devolves much further.