16 January 2012

Welsh Communist thinks he's a 19th century African.

This is Rick Newnham. He is Secretary of the Welsh Communist Party.

Rick Newnham. Not a 19th century African

He's a very confused chap. In Friday's Guardian, he claimed that Wales and the Welsh people face a threat comparable to that imposed on an entire continent by the "Scramble for Africa":
"proposals...showing the same imperial sensitivity as those who carved up Africa in the late 19th century...Lugard, Kipling and Baden-Powell would be delighted."
Now, I've been to Wales quite recently and I am ashamed to say that I failed to detect the onset of any policies that might result in massive depopulation, conflictual territorial division, and aggressive exploitation of natural resources.

That's because Mr Newnham is talking about proposals from the Boundary Commission for Wales to reduce the number of Westminster Parliamentary seats from 40 to 30, as part of a UK-wide reduction from 650 to 600.

Now maybe losing 25% of your seats, when the overall loss is about 8%, could be seen as disproportionate.  But 30 seats for Wales will mean about 48,000 people per MP. In England, the Boundary Commission's proposed reduction to 502 seats will mean a ratio of 98,000:1. Let us not forget, too, that the Welsh also have a 60 seat Assembly for Wales (to which they voted even more powers, last year).

And just by-the-by, tax raised in Wales in 2007-08 was £19bn. Public expenditure in Wales in 2007-08 was £25bn. Now where did that extra £6bn come from, comrade? 

Anyway, isn't representative democracy a bit bourgeois and historically obsolete? Aren't you worried that your defence of it against supposed dangers might lead to (how did Marx put it?) "parliamentary cretinism"?

While you're making your mind up, if you feel the need to comment on devolution matters and the like in the meantime, please, before opening your mouth, ask yourself: "lack of perspective, much?". 

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