06/11/2011 The Politics Show Wales


Jon Sopel and Aled ap Dafydd with analysis of the political scene shaping Wales.

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Later in the programme: A shake up in organ donation is on


the cards as the Government prepares to publish new plans this


week and I'll be joined by two members of parliament to discuss if


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2228 seconds


there should be less of them Good afternoon.


Coming up: Cuts in MPs and broadcasting.


Plans to make wills the first part of the UK to adopt consent for


organ donation is to be published this week. It is a radical way of


helping the 300 or more people waiting for organ transplants in


Wales at any one time. Voices are warning that the move will not work.


Few would oppose a policy to maximise the number of organs made


available to patients desperate for transplants. Welsh government plans


for consent to be published this weekend are intended to do just


that. They come at a time when a debate on people automatically


being on the donor register until they decide to come off has been


gathering pace. At first glance, the issue of presumed consent


appears simple. Making everyone an organ donor unless they choose to


opt out would make more transplants and more lives saved. But the


transfer -- practicalities of presumed consent might not be so


straightforward, and that is before we consider religious or


philosophical concerns. The Welsh government is expected to announce


a softer form of presumed consent meaning relatives would be


consulted about using loved one's organs in the highly dramatic


circumstances of their death. of the real problems I have got


with presumed consent is that it undermines trust. I do not mind


moving to a more presumptive attitude because almost everyone is


in favour of organ donation. It is reasonable to have a presumptive


attitude when you discuss this with relatives in the immediate


aftermath, or sometimes be for a the machine is switched off. If it


is presumed consent there is an immediate suspicion. That is why I


put it in for a debate in the House of Commons. I want to spend half an


hour explaining in a considered way why this will not work. It does not


work, it does not deliver but a fraction more organs. What we do


need is to understand what will work. People are dying because we


do not have an effective system is. The Welsh government is confident


there is widespread support for Wales to lead the way and become


the first part of the UK to introduced presumed consent.


will get an increase to up to 30% in organs which was sold a lot of


issues for people who are waiting for a transplant. We are losing one


person every week here in Wales, and that is a huge amount of people


who are dying. We need to give hope, I believe the Welsh government have


got this absolutely right and they are progressive. I think the rest


of the UK will follow. The saw signs last read in Scotland that


that was the case. Politicians are urged to come up with policies that


make a real difference to people's lives. Anything that increases


organ donations would do that. This week we should have a better idea


how the Welsh government plans to address some of the fears of some


of those who doubt presumed consent will have the effect that some


people want. The White Paper on introducing an


opt-out system for organ donation is expected this week. A Bill could


then go to -- forward to the Assembly next year. The world


government told us debates and consultations in Wales have


convinced us the public is ready to Margaret Haig Thomas, Viscountess


Rhondda was a leading Welsh suffragette. She fought for women


to sit and vote in the House of Lords just after the First World


War. The Lords prevented her to take her father's seat, but friends


to Baroness Gale of Blaenrhondda the portrait of a Viscountess


Rhondda is now sitting proudly in the Houses of Parliament.


Hanging with kings and queens of the past, a newly acquired portrait


of a powerful Welsh lady is now on display in the Lords gallery. A


lady who was forbidden to taking her rightful place in the House of


Lords. Despite inheriting her father's title, Viscountess Rhondda


could never sit in the House of Lords. So her journey to this place


has been a long, hard struggle. Baroness Gale of Blaenrhondda has


always been a fan of the by Countess. I am so pleased we have a


portrait, at last of Viscountess Rhondda. She inherited the title


from her father. With special permission from King George the


fifth because she was the only child. When she did, she then tried


to take her seat in the house of Lords. She went to a sub-committee


to the House of Lords, a committee of privileges, and the six men who


sat on the committee, five voted in favour of her coming. There was


great rejoicing at the thought of a woman in a house of Lords for the


first time. But the Lord Chancellor did not like this idea at all. So


he convened a another committee of 30 men, and guess what? They said


no, she cannot come in. She never got to sit here. But she fought the


battle for women. She certainly broke down barriers for women.


Outside politics she was very active in the business community.


She inherited her father's wealth and business interests. She was one


of the very few women who was successful in business. And she had


a magazine as well? She did. She put a lot of money into that


magazine, it was a feminist magazine. It was her journal where


she could express or her views on women's rights and so on. She was


quite a controversial character, I believe. She divorced her husband,


she set up home with a female lover, it is thought. It must have been


quite something, caused quite a stir. She was obviously a very


determined woman. She did unconventional things from the time


- work for the time, like having a divorce. Obviously, her Wells


allowed to to do all that. Some books you read about to say she


lived with a close woman friend at that time. Probably a bit unusual.


Lots of things about her, fighting for equal rights for women, equal


pay, all issues that women are still fighting for. Are there


things that she actually achieved in her lifetime when it came to


women's rights? What I think she did was lay the groundwork, if you


like. She broke down barriers, that is for certain. Certainly in


politics and for women in the House of Lords, she broke down barriers


for women like me. Her father was from the valley. She couldn't come


into the House of Lords. My father was a coal miner and worked in a


colliery which her father owned. I feel because of her, I am in the


House of Lords today. Do feel a certain attachment to her? I do. I


feel I have a lot of links to her, a lot of contrasts and a lot of


similarities. She was the daughter of a very wealthy man. She had all


the privileges one could imagine. And I was, if you like, the exact


opposite. But we still believed in the same things. When I read about


the thing she believed in and what I believe in, there are


similarities. Am very pleased we have got this portrait of


Viscountess Rhondda so everyone can see what a wonderful woman she was.


The Lords committee paid �7,000 for the painting. Today's Lords and


Ladies have the pleasure of viewing this painting from now until


Christmas. We have heard MPs discussing cuts


in public spending but they are also discussing a cut in their


numbers. The UK government wants to cut the number of MPs to 600. They


would each constituency to have more or less the same number of


voters at the next general election. Wales could lose 10 of its 40 MPs.


The Boundary Commission for England has redrawn the map for that


country and we're expecting the Welsh proposals in the new year.


What can we expect? We can discuss that with Owen Smith and Alun


Cairns. It is said, Owen Smith, that Wales is over-represented in


Westminster. That is a new view. It is not something we have heard from


the Conservative Party over many years. It is something they have


come to recently, and it is because it is in their party's own interest


to reduce the number of MPs across the UK. We will see a 7% reduction


in MPs across the UK. It will hit - - hit Labour and Liberals


disproportionately. The vast majority of Welsh MPs will be


Labour Party MPs. If you have constituencies with equal weight,


it is something like within 5% of 75,000 voters, surely that is good


for democracy? I think the reverse is the case. This is not an


argument we have heard from anyone for many years. We have not been a


democracy weather has been privacy attached with mathematical accuracy,


and mathematical exactitude. We have had an interest in making


politics closer to people. Making politics identified with people.


Unfortunately, we will end up with constituencies that are bigger and


people do not identify and the same sense. Particularly in Wales where


we have a sense of Locale and an attachment to our local identities.


I feel it will be less democratic. The accusation is that this is an


attack on Labour, gerrymandering of the boundaries to help the


Conservative cause. It seems that his strongest argument is that this


is a new idea. It is not. In 2004 Michael Howard first proposed the


changes to the number of MPs across the UK. Particularly in Wales


relating to the powers of the Assembly. The Prime Minister talks


about cutting the cost of politics, reducing the number of MPs to 600,


and therefore when we look at the detail around that you take a


constituency that has some 39 of 40,000 voters. My constituency has


72,000 voters. Why should a voter in Barry have that the vote count


less than someone else? It does not make sense there for their needs to


be a fair distribution of Members of Parliament. On the partisan


point, I'm am naturally worried. My Conservative colleagues in


Westminster are worried about their boundaries. But we have all voted


for it because we think it is the right thing to do. You say you have


all voted for it, but Iain Duncan Smith has apparently warned David


Cameron about the party teetering on the brink of further mutiny


because not all Conservative MPs are happy about this. I did not


know anything about that tittle- tattle. Conservative MPs are


naturally concerned about their own personal role, but they recognise


the bigger picture and that is about making votes equal. At the


moment it is not. My voters do not have the same power as other areas.


You speak to Conservative backbench cot -- colleagues, a lot of them


left high rate paid jobs for a seat in Parliament. Will they think, I


might go back to the city? They might go back to where they came


from in any field. I do not know why you suggest the city. The


Conservative Party has a diverse nature. The parliamentary party has


voted for it. It was in the manifesto to reduce the number of


MPs by 10%. There has been a slight adjustment to that, but the bottom


line is about making the whole of the United Kingdom equal in terms


of numbers. It is not right that my voter in Barry does not have the


same amount of influence as someone in Pontypridd. Peter Kane has said


new boundaries might bring together towns that were in the past rivals.


What does rivalry have to do with boundary changes? I think he is


making the point that in Wales we have a sense of local identity.


Whether it is on the rugby field, are in politics. That would be true


of England as well? People have often said we are too parochial in


Wales. I think it is a positive that we have a clear sense of our


local identities. The point he is really making is that


geographically Wales, and in particular the South Wales valleys


have a certain sense of what they are about. You will end up with


communities that traditionally have sat easy together having problems.


What about a scenario where made wills would be covered by only two


constituencies? -- made a Wales. That is part of the difficulty now.


My surgery work is absolutely phenomenal. When I talk to other


members of parliament with smaller constituencies, it seems to me they


do not have that same pressure. It is about balancing it out and make


sure that every individual's vote counts the same way. Labour are


against this because they're going to lose out more than the


Conservatives? We are against it because we think it is


gerrymandering. Yes, we're going to lose out by a greater degree and


that is what the Tories have designed it for. Politicians and


opinion formers should take a stronger stance on the threat to


English language broadcasting in Wales. That is according to Menna


Richards. Speaking at the Welsh political archive annual lecture in


Aberystwyth on Friday she said she understood why it most of the


recent debate surrounding broadcasting have focused on S4C,


but she was surprised how little attention had been given to cuts in


English-language programming. Because the whole of the BBC has


had to cut back and make savings, BBC Wales has been forced to cut


100 hours of programming in English language over the last five years.


What is sad about it is that the programmes we have lost have


included comedy and drama about Wales for Welsh audiences. I think


people have been preoccupied by the future of S4C, and understandably


so. But perhaps people have not realised what has been going on


behind the scenes of English- language television programmes. The


people who make those programmes at BBC and ITV do a fantastic job, but


I think that audiences in Wales deserve more output, more


programmes that tell them something about their lives, that reflect


their interests. Owen Smith and Alun Cairns are still with me. Have


we lost sight of any problems regarding English language


broadcasting because of the focus which has been put on a S4C's


trials and tribulations? I haven't. It has been one of the things I


have consistently raised in the House of Commons. Slightly ironic


that Menna Richards should be raising it because it has been on


her watch that we have seen this dramatic diminution in the volume


of programmes about Wales in English. She is right to


highlighted. We do have a contemporary art stand in Wales, we


have less current affairs, less drama, certainly less drama made in


Wales. The danger is with S4C being folded into the BBC is that you


will see form -- for good reasons and that perhaps, greater


concentration on Welsh-language programmes. She might say, how do


you expect us to commission and broadcast more programmes when our


funding is being cut? Yes, the funding is being cut. But choices


are being taken. Her predecessor has been in the forefront of


highlighting this, not just recently, but four, five years ago,


this trajectory of fewer English language programmes was very clear.


We could have done something to arrested, and we should do. We have


all been talking about it for. Welsh language broadcasting has a


Stirchley been a politically sensitive issue for many reasons.


Has that hindered the debate around English-language broadcasting?


much of the last year I have spent my time pressing the government to


come up with a positive settlement for S4C. Working with independent


companies and people within the BBC to come up with a positive answer.


I think it is fair to say Menna Richards does make a good point.


The vocal numbers that have been shouting about S4C for a very good


reasons, and there was support their objectives and their outcome,


but it has detracted from the wider debate about broadcasting. What I


would like to see is more of broadcasting about Wales on network


television. She is also pointing the finger at people like you. She


said a Scottish newspapers and media attack the BBC and management


in London. By you doing the same? have always made the point to Mark


Thompson that I want to see more about Wales on network television.


The North-East does well, Scotland does well on network television. It


is easy to talk about Wales within wheels, but I want to see it on


network television. -- Wales. raised this with Chris Patten, it


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