Thursday 24 February 2011

Yeagh But No But...

A bit of a first for Hafal as we appear twice on the Welsh telly news (ITV) last night on separate topics.

Hafal Deputy Chief Exec Alun Thomas chides Aussie euthanasia enthusiast Dr Philip Nitschke for bringing fear and anxiety to mental health patients on his visit to Wales while I offer a neutral account of the interminable process necessary to bring the Mental Health Measure into law under the Government of Wales Act provisions presently in force.

For the record Jonathan Morgan AM won the ballot to bring forward an LCO on mental health back in 2007 but the new law won't actually help any patient until the end of this year 2011 at the earliest. For some this is a very good argument to vote "Yes" in the Referendum on Welsh powers but of course that is because this Measure is a good thing which couldn't come quickly enough. However, if you believe the National Assembly might bring forward ill-conceived legislation in the future you might wish to sustain the "veto" of the UK Parliament even at the price of very long delays in all Welsh legislation good or bad. It's your call.

My only message is to get out and vote one way or the other. It would be dispiriting for democracy if there was a low turn-out.

Unwisely I bet Alun a pint that my piece would come higher up the news than his. He won of course because the death doctor was bigger news than the major constitutional change which the Referendum could herald. Ho hum: I will have a modest revenge by giving him a pint of that straw-coloured, flavourless and light-weight beverage laughably known as "Amber Nectar" in honour of his ghoulish antagonist's country of origin.