Saturday, 16 October 2010

Introducing: The Welsh 'No' Campaign

As I'd not heard much about them before, I got in touch with True Wales, the anti-Assembly movement. Diane Banner kindly provided me with a synopsis of what they're about. Hopefully I'll be able to carry more news about these guys from time to time - I certainly intend to join up.

Dear [Dilettante]

Thank you for contacting True Wales.

True Wales is a grassroots movement, established, funded and run entirely by ordinary, working people who are not well known and who came together two years ago because of a shared deep concern about the growth of nationalism and the slide towards independence since the inception of the National Assembly for Wales.

Our movement originated in the South Wales Valleys. It sprang from an article written for the Western Mail by Helen Mary Jones AM in which she argued strongly for Welsh Independence, and also coincided with the launch of the All Wales Convention. True Wales now has members/supporters in most areas of the Principality. We have raised awareness of our campaign by meeting people across the length and breadth of Wales, collecting signatures for our petition and distributing our leaflets. We have reached out to people via the website, written articles, lobbied politicians and submitted evidence to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, the Lords Constitutional Committee and the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. We have also had meetings with the Electoral Commission, and our spokespeople regularly appear on BBC and ITV political programmes.

You have asked specifically whether True Wales has a position on Welsh language provision. It was decided at the outset that our prime objective was to secure a 'No' vote in the referendum which will decide whether direct law-making power should be devolved to the Welsh Assembly, and to do that, we would need to reach out to all the Welsh people, whichever language they use. We do have some Welsh-speaking members, and I would say that all of us have great concerns about the manner in which WAG prioritises our precious resources.

We have just taken delivery of our second batch of leaflets and are busy ensuring that they are distributed in all areas of Wales. I have attached a copy of the leaflet which encapsulates what the campaign is about (you will need to scroll down to view the second page). I have also attached a copy of our latest Press Release which was issued to counter criticisms of our campaign in a recent speech made by the First Minister.

We hold regular strategy meetings each month. I have attached a membership form should you wish to help our campaign in any way (membership is free at the moment), and a copy of the petition form. There is also the on-line petition at:

If you wish to know more about True Wales I would be happy to give you a call to chat further.

Thank you again for your email.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Diane Banner

True Wales Secretary

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