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Devolve power; LETTERS.

SIR - Patrick McGuinness asserts that if True Wales really were interested in standing up to an elite, we would show more concern for mending the democratic deficit in Welsh governance.

He has obviously not considered our True Devolution Charter, published in December on the True Wales website, in which we outline our vision for a truly devolved and democratic Wales. We argue that the expenses controversies at the European Parliament, the Assembly and most sensationally at Westminster, have clearly shown the need for root and branch reform of the UK political system.

Mr McGuinness also seems to suggest that in the referendum we are to choose between keeping either MPs or AMs.

Though separation from the UK is the declared destination of one of the governing parties in the coalition in Cardiff Bay, we are continually told by the establishment that this referendum will, for now, determine merely whether the people want the Welsh Assembly to have primary law-making powers.

In this case, the people of Wales are not only expected to pay the salaries and expenses of MPs at Westminster but also the pounds 50,000 per head wages plus extra responsibility points and expenses of Assembly politicians and, no doubt, of the further 20 AMs recommended by the Richard Commission.

We in True Wales believe that the real devolution challenge is not to create a pale copy of Westminster in Cardiff Bay, but to place power into the hands of the people. We suggest that instead of diverting more time, energy and money into acquiring further powers for themselves, our politicians should be seeking to empower the people by establishing voters' juries, regular documented town hall meetings and overhauling the petition system.

Devolving power more directly to the people of Wales - not to the political establishment - is the true Welsh solution. Now that would be real self-government. RACHEL BANNER True Wales
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 13, 2010
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