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Posts Tagged ‘True Wales’

When the referendum campaign’s over next Friday, those on both sides will undoubtedly feel like either celebrating or drowning their sorrows.

If you’re a Yes supporter, you may well have received an invitation to watch the results and let your hair down in Bedwas with Caerphilly councillor Ron Davies and Cardiff councillor Neil McAvoy.

I’ve been passed an invitation.

Hi! You are invited to the following event: Thanks for Voting Yes Party ! Daytime: Ron Davies & Results on Huge Screen ! Evening: Meic Stevens & Band Last Concert in Wales ! See the Dawning of a New Wales ! Only 400 Tickets ! Mar 04, 2011 12:00 PM – 11:55 PM

Unlike the Yes For Wales campaign, this is unlikely to be a cross-party party. When I mentioned it to one senior Labour figure, the response was: ‘Who’d want to go to that?’

The No campaigners in True Wales, meanwhile, have an event lined up at Newbridge rugby club which has become an unofficial spiritual home for many within the group.

 

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Rachel Banner from True Wales, the organisation which is campaigning for a referendum NO vote, has been defending herself against anonymous claims about her working arrangements.

She told me she’s been asked to respond to criticism that she’s taken a lot of time off her job as a school teacher to campaign for a No Vote.

But Ms Banner says she stopped working back in January to free up the time for campaigning and to protect herself and her school from just such criticism. She says she’d already been planning to quit to pursue a PhD.

Hitting back at the anonymous critics, she said

‘Senior political sources’ in the Yes campaign need not be concerned about taxpayers’ money as I have ceased to work as a teacher for my school, in order both to participate fully in this campaign and to prepare for my PhD on Margaret Cavendish and her writings on science which I will be beginning in September.  This is just another trivial diversion by the Yes campaign to continue avoiding a proper debate on the future of Wales.

 

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If you hand’t realised that there’s just a month to go until the referendum on strengthening the Assembly’s powers, then by the end of today you will.

On March 3rd we will all be asked,

Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?

On our ballot papers we will be told that if we vote YES,

The Assembly will be able to make laws on all matters in the subject areas it has powers for, without needing the UK Parliament’s agreement.

And if we vote NO that,

What happens at the moment will continue.

So that’s the choice. Over the next four weeks then campaigners on both sides will try to persuade us to vote one way or the other.

There won’t be an official NO campaign, nor will there be an official YES campaign, because the main NO campaign group, True Wales decided not to apply for that official status and the rules meant there could only be two official groups or none.

Lack of official status won’t stop True Wales trying to get you to agree with them though.

Neither will it prevent the main YES campaign group, Yes For Wales, which has the support of all four political parties in the Assembly and a massive amount of backing from high-profile individuals, charities and other organisations.

At ITV Wales, we’ll do our best to let you know over the next four weeks what the arguments are and what both sides are saying.

Starting this evening at 6pm on Wales Tonight.  We’ll be live from the Senedd in Cardiff Bay with a special report and guests from both sides of the debate.

Then at 1035pm join me for Sharp End where we’ll discuss it further.

We’ll also be looking at efforts to end child poverty and asking if they’re ambitious but realistic or hopelessly optimistic in an interview with the  minister responsible, Labour’s Huw Lewis.

Last week we spoke to the Education Minister Leighton Andrews about the problems facing our schools. This week he’s launched a major shake-up of our education system. I wonder what my guests think.

They are Plaid Cymru AM Bethan Jenkins, the former Conservative minister, Rod Richards and the Western Mail’s Chief Reporter Martin Shipton.

Join us all for Sharp End at 1035pm ITV1 Wales.

 

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