The shelf labelled ‘solutions’ at Welsh Government offices are looking pretty bare and devoid of ideas. The main books appear to be; How to Isolate One’s Country, The Idiot’s Guide to Wasting Public Money, How to Escalate Child Poverty and The Common Sense Deniers Book of Quotes.
The book on isolating one’s country has chapters on using tough measures for anyone ‘not from Wales’ wanting to purchase property or land in one’s back yard for the purposes of a holiday or investment. The details are not clear but using a fold out guide on planning laws is included. The book does carry a warning that anyone ‘not from Wales’ should be aware that there are some distressing images of Welsh locations, which have seen the underdevelopment and under investment in affordable homes for local people who have also had their small schools taken away from them. The cover is bright red with a catchy logo ‘Wales Is Closed’.
We briefly looked at the Idiot’s Guide to Wasting Public Money, which appeared to have the section ‘Due Diligence’ ripped out. There was a rather large chapter dedicated to creating illusions and another on ‘exciting words to use for crap ideas’.
Perhaps the saddest read on the shelf was the book on How to Escalate Child Poverty. The Dickensian style cover with the thinnest of paper has sections dedicated to mental incapacity, philistinism, disregard, obtuseness, callowness, insensitivity, half-knowledge, unawareness, shallowness and the crucial component, empty-headedness. All in all everything one needs to keep children in Wales in poverty is there including a detailed guide on how to channel finances to much less important issues.
I must say the we particularly enjoyed what appeared to be the most used book on the shelf, the The Common Sense Denier’s Book of Quotes. It would be difficult to pick out a single quote as there were so many for every occasion. Road Building, Small School Closures, Rogue Councils, Massive Overspends and Massive Underspends, Doctor’s Surgeries, Ambulance Waiting Times, River and Sea Pollution, Failing Education System, Failing Public Sector, Caught With Hand in Till, Second Home Ownership, the list was endless and we have certainly seen many of the quotes used in our media, which appears to relish in placing them in pull quotes just to make sure we get the message.
As we speak a new book, the latest to bedeck the shelf is being unwrapped. ‘Political Opposition in Wales – Myths and Legends’. We understand that the first part of that book is voluminous, lively, outspoken and fascinating but those who have had a sneak peak say that the latter section is thin on any substance and lacking in character.
As political parties in Wales join in a partnership, one can only surmise that the partnership like any other has to be forged on a mutually agreed document. The content of that document should it exist can only be speculated on. Is this a shift in Welsh politics as we know it, which will send a clear message to the Westminster Conservative Government that their only representation in Wales will now be silenced and made impotent? Is the new found alliance between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru a sign of a greater shift towards nationalism and a call for more powers and more politicians for the Senedd?
One can do anything once voted in regardless of whether those who voted for you did so in the belief that they were voting for a single party based on that party’s manifesto and policies. Moving the goalposts to get what one wants is a dangerous game. It may be one, which comes back to haunt political parties in the local elections when the people of Wales go to the polls. The Welsh Conservatives might attract the votes of the disillusioned unionists of which are growing in numbers as the make-up of the population of Wales changes.