Vote Yes because the Assembly listens !

There was an exceptionally important debate in the National Assembly Chamber yesterday; despite its importance it probably won't receive much media attention.

It was a debate about work based training for vulnerable children. This might not be a subject that raises the blood pressure of political activists in Wales; indeed it was so uncontroversial that it was given unanimous support by Assembly Members.

The result of the debate will mean that the Government will change some of its policies regarding work based training for the most vulnerable children in Wales, but the importance of the debate is much more than the beneficial effect that it will have on the lives of vulnerable children; its importance lies in how vulnerable children, themselves, have actually caused a changed of Assembly Government policy.

The change in government policy began with two vulnerable children voicing their frustration to the child protection charity Action for Children - Gweithredu dros Blant. Gweithredu dros Blant took up the children's issues and presented them in a petition to the Assembly. The Assembly's cross party Petitions Committee looked at the petition, took evidence from interested parties and presented that evidence to ministers; and the ministers have acted on that evidence.

This is fantastic, this is real democracy in action, and this is an example of real people changing policy in areas that affect their lives.

Historic is an overused word in politics but an occasion where vulnerable children's complaints can lead to a change in government policy is really historic!

Petitions being ignored have played a big part in the Westminster government's history. I have signed some of the Petitions to the Prime Minister on http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ and all of them have resulted in an e-mail that says in civil service speak "p*** off"!

Petitions to the Welsh Assembly, even from vulnerable children, can change government policy!

The Government in Wales reacts to the opinions of the people of Wales in a way that Westminster doesn't!

Is there a better reason for voting YES on March 3rd?


  1. From the start the National Assembly for Wales has been more open, democratic and transparent than the Parliament at Westminster. Scrutiny is greater with the National Assembly than at Westminster precisely because of this openness and transparency. Something our friends in True Wales should reflect on.

  2. I had a petition for Human Rights abuses in Wales, it was posted on number 10 petition board, but there was no interest from the Senedd, because they are NOT interested in real issues, omly issues that give them good spin. The senedd has let a majority of people DOWN, they ignore real problems and concentrate on the valleys and the good old days, while in reality, the real people suffer, poverty, poor homes and absolutely no prospect for work. Wales will be divided after this referendum. The North will cut away from the South and will refuse to negotiate with Cardiff becuase of the second hand way we have been treated. Cardiff and the valleys get the jobs, North Wales get the left overs.

  3. The clowns called Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Lingo Society will nit survive after the referendum, they are the party of fools, their ambition is to line their own pockets while we get nothing, North Wales will be better off without these clowns, Plaid Cymru ignore the people, Welsh Lingo society are only interested in their language, while the people starve, an dlose their homes, at least the welsh lingo society will guarantee that they will be ignored.

  4. Human Rights are NOT a devolved issue, so the Assembly has no jurisdiction on the issue.

    The North / South divide is a fallacy. 75% of the population of Wales live within 40 miles of Cardiff, much less than 75% of the Assembly's expenditure is spent in that area. North and Mid Wales do proportionally well out of Assembly expenditure!

    The idea that the referendum would have any effect on the "lingo", is too late – competence on Welsh Language Measures have already been given to the Assembly under the current system, so no cigar on that point!

  5. You obviously haven't been paying attention to what is happening on Anglesey, where the WAG Pontious Pilate school of decision making is alive and well.

  6. Good old Mon, the mother of Wales was it's name, now it's been carved into two areas, the have's and the have nots. We used to be one Island and then disaster happened, we had two clowns to represent us. One idiot fought his way to become Plaid Cymru leader, then abandoned the people, Albert Owen the Labour Mo who resides in Westminster, has stood by and allowed the massive drain of employers leave Anglesey. The result, poverty and deprivation in every town and village. Today we read about the money that has been shared out in Wales, most of it is spent down South, while we in Anglesey, well, we get the loose change, this is why we should really consider the value we get from the Welsh Assembly and to date, my value of them is zero.

  7. Sorry anon, but if Anglesey is represented by fools it is because the people of Anglesey vote for fools. Abolishing the County, the Assembly or establishing direct rule from out of space won't change the islands' rather idiosyncratic voting record!

    The Daily Post's north /south divide story; (a regular feature in the devosceptic Post) failed to mention that an Anglesey company was offered a whopping £48 million pounds grants package in 2009 – which was turned down! Apart from the accepted grant given to a Flintshire (in north Wales) company the second largest Assembly grant package ever offered – so no cigar again!

  8. I come originally from Ynys Mon and I witnessed how the economy declined. The recent decline began, not with the establishment of the National Assembly in 1999, but with the recession of 1980-1981. The main part of the decline occurred when Wales was governed directly from Westminster.

    There was a significant bias in the activities of the old Welsh Development Agency to the areas around Cardiff and the strip immediately around the M4, with some lesser concentration in northeast Wales. This was apparent through the 1980s and 1990s. The Welsh Assembly Government after 1999 attempted to force the WDA to spread its activities across Wales. The WDA resisted and this was a major factor behind winding up the WDA and transferring its activities into the Welsh Assembly Government itself. The civil servants still proved reluctant to spread their inward investment activities across Wales, and this was one of the main reasons for the major shake up in the Welsh economic development department over the past 3 years.

    Of course the right-wing activists are not interested in this. They wish to put blame for all deficiencies in society on to centre-left politicians, and also on to the Assembly to try to discredit it. They want to hoodwink people into a No vote because they want to try to destabilise the Assembly and Welsh democracy. They still harbour a hope, against all reason and political reality, that the Assembly could be abolished and we would return once again to a single, centralised British superstate.

  9. It's usually me who says MOF is the made one- but Alwyn has well and truly brought out the lunatics with this sound, sensible post. This is the way to treat the north-south "divide"- it is normal for nations to have different regions within them where people have different views, and the question is are we doing more to link those regions up or are we doing things that will drive them apart? Since the beginning of devolution there is a strong argument that the trend has been to link them up- the progress achieved under One Wales especially. It will take decades to properly unite Wales but to say we are two different countries is ignorant, narrow-minded and parochial.

    Any talk of economic decline in Wales has to note that any decline has only been in terms relative to the UK as a whole. Every part of Wales is wealthier than when devolution began. If you believe in relative GVA to the UK average being a good measurement of progress then you're welcoming the recession of 08-09 which was the only time- as far as I know- in more than 20 years when we "caught up". It baffles me that this is never mentioned.