Letter: English vote for devolution

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your editorial on the devolution debate in Wales ("Yes or no, Wales is ready for the great debate", 24 July) was interesting, but hugely incorrect in one essential respect. You stated that there was widespread assent to Lord Tonypandy's proposition that the existing system of Welsh government works well and is trusted by the populace. This is palpably untrue.

Over the last 18 years of Conservative government, the majority of Welsh people have realised that the administrative system in Wales is demonstrably undemocratic. We have had four successive Conservative secretaries of state who were not Welsh, did not represent Welsh consistencies and were members of the minor political party in Wales. Despite this, they wielded unchallenged political power in a position that was likened by one of them to that of a Gauleiter. They ruled by the aid of undemocratic, unaccountable quangos and sent public money back to the Treasury because of an ideological opposition to spending it here.

There now exists in Wales a democratic deficit, and even those areas that were overwhelmingly hostile to devolution in 1979, such as south- east Wales, now have grass-roots groups in support of devolution. A "yes" vote in September is a vote for democracy and a vote against what was becoming an increasingly corrupt and nepotistic form of government.

CERI JONES

Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan

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