Wednesday 1 October 2008

Free Wales, or Free Booze?

I spent a few hours earlier today at the Freshers' Fair in Trinity College. I wasn't exactly the youngest person there, but I was part of a team from Plaid, and the others, including Nerys Evans AM, were sufficiently younger than I. We had a good amount of interest in our special offer for students - a Free Wales, if you only come and help us work for it.

The other parties also had their stands there, of course - and why not? But I know that the Tories, in particular, would be extremely disappointed not to have a special mention for their efforts. So disappointed that I was even tempted to ignore their latest gaffe. (I'm beginning to think that they might actually be making gaffes with the specific objective of getting them mentioned here.)

First, some background. William Graham, the Tory AM for Wales South East tabled a motion in the National Assembly on 2nd July, which included the following words:
"To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:
"1. Recognises the importance of educating young people about the devastating health and social implications of alcohol abuse."

I and many others agree with him, and when the motion was discussed, it was agreed by all Assembly Members who were present. I'm sure that readers will have worked out what is inevitably coming after that – because the Tories' special offer to the young people starting college in Carmarthen was a chance to "Win Free Booze". What a stereotyped image they have of our young people, to say nothing of the inconsistency which this displays.

But inconsistency seems to be an inherent characteristic of the English Conservative Party in Wales; they seem able to contradict each other on an almost daily basis on any and every topic. Indeed, last week, one of them even managed to contradict herself with no help whatsoever from any other members, by retracting much of what she had said in an interview.

On a completely serious note, today's fair effectively underlined two very different approaches to the young people of Wales. Free Wales if you join us and help work for it; or a chance of free booze if you tell us your name and address.


Draig said...

Given this report was commissioned by the City of London Corp, I'm a little wary of the motivation behind it. Why would such a report say anything other than that the City bankrolls the rest of the UK? If the report came up with a different conclusion my guess is that it would have been quietly buried.

As you say John, time needs to be taken to pick reports like this apart, and many hands make light work. The cat is out of the bag as regards the Independence debate, and the claws are out!

John Dixon said...


I think this comments was intended to be against another post - to which I shall move it.