The truth about my Jim Trott type No Campaign

I have enjoyed my No campaign.

It has, I hope, highlighted some of the faults in the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act (2000). It has noted that the reasons for voting one way or the other and even not voting cannot be extrapolated in an over simplistic way. The reason why people vote Yes, No or choose not to vote in a referendum are many and variable.

But when devo naysayers complain in perpetuity that the March 3rd referendum result was won unfairly, they can be reminded that:

History records that the only official bid to form a No campaign came from a nationalist supporter of independence. The establishment refused that bid and a majority of the people of Wales abstained, in disgust, at the establishment's attempt to stifle their voice or voted NO! NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

It may not be true, but it is as good a narrative as the naysayers lie that those who didn't vote in 1997 effectively voted no!

My wife and I failed to vote in 1997, because my mother in law was taken into hospital on referendum day and we didn't leave the hospital until after the polling station closed. One of the reasons for my No campaign is that I have been continuously peeved at claims that that our failure to vote is assumed to be a tacit expression of our opposition to Welsh self determination - nothing could be further from the truth!

With voting day only a month away I will come clean and declare that my vote will be a Jim Trott type No – No – No – No - No - No - Yes!


  1. Yes, I suppose you're right, Alwyn. At the end of the day voting No without any way of explaining why we are doing so merely aligns us with some very unattractive people. People whose aspirations for our country are totally at odds with our own.

    Equally, abstaining from voting in a Welsh devolution referendum is not an option. For those who fail to vote are assumed to wear union jack underpants, sing 'God Save The Queen' in the bath, support England, and would generally like to see Wales, the language and everything distinctly Welsh disappear.

  2. Read this on Borthlas if you want an argument to vote Yes - http://borthlas.blogspot.com/2011/02/boys-got-form.html

    Apparently we're on a slippery slope! Leo Abse would be so proud of him...

  3. I haven't encountered your cartoon "devo naysayers" - are they as real as red dragons?

    It's certainly true that the devolution vote was a damn close thing, and I remember the tension in the wee small hours as the rumour drifted in that Carmarthen's vote would swing it to "yes" as the 18th vote after the 17 intermediate cumulative results had been "no". So it's fair to say that the population of Wales did not massively support devolution. 50.3% is not much of a majority. But it IS a majority, and the referendum was validly won. And I haven't heard anyone say otherwise. It also shows that there wasn't a huge feeling against devolution too. So I don't see what you're grumbling about. I think you're inventing enemies.

    Despite what Jac says, abstaining IS an option. It's perfectly reasonable thing to do if the elector either doesn't know or doesn't care what the result it. It's not a vote against, it's not a vote for. Many people just don't care.

    I can see a good argument for those against devolution generally voting "yes" this year on the basis that it reduces the opportunities for AMs to deny responsibility for any mess they create.

    I can't actually think of a good reason for voting "no" except as a general protest against devolution.

    I voted "yes" in a "no" area in 1997, and will vote "yes" in the coming referendum. And I did so because devolution is a good idea, not because I care about things "distinctively Welsh", whatever they are (other than the language of course).