Groundhog Day

In his own unique style, Mat Mathias urges politicians in Wales to take action

Groundhog standing

Mat Mathias writes in a personal capacity

You can hear it can’t you? Cher’s sonorous voice combined with the Dylanesque whining of Sonny.


They say we’re young and we don’t know


We won’t find out until we grow


Well I don’t know if all that’s true


‘Cause you got me, and baby I got you


I am imagining most of you are into 90’s popular culture. If you aren’t then…well… then you should really get a grip of yourself.  But if you aren’t, this is what Bill Murray’s character hears every single morning when he awakes, having to live the same day every day in the film Groundhog day which came out all the way back in 1993, when Jacob Rees Mogg was 155 years old and before Trump’s hair became sentient.

My tenuous link to one of my favourite films is that in Wales, when it comes to political decisions we are living our own Groundhog day.

How long have we been waiting for a decision on the M4 relief road? I agree with all the people who hate the idea, saying it’s an enormous waste of money. Why? Because by the time it’s been agreed on and then built it’ll be the year 2118. It will be so far in the future that we’ll all be using flying cars anyway or the alternative and more realistic scenario; that most of the island will be underwater and the last remnants of the UK that had not succumbed to the lizard people who, after hundreds of years disguised as the world order including the Rothschilds, the Gettys, all the bankers, Ronald bloody McDonald, the Royal family, Tess Daly, Dec from Ant n Dec and Dafydd El, had got fed up with how stupid we all were and had just eaten us.

Well, not all.  Some will hold out on any land still left above sea level at that time. How high? Let’s just say that south Wales will consist of a small island called Pen-y-fan, and the South Wales Metro will consist of a made up map that doesn’t mean anything in real life showing a straight, neat red line going the 3 miles from west to east which is in complete contrast to the neat, lots of lines of many colours drawn on the current map that is also made up and doesn’t mean anything in real life.

Two years before the world broke and the seas subsumed us a hundred years in the future, the last remnants of the old railway lines in Wales were electrified beating those losers, we are told by Government, in Bhutan, Andorra, Chad and Burundi to total electrification. It was a tough race especially when none of these countries actually had any rail to electrify in the first place.

Ours were not only the last to be electrified but also the last railways in Europe full stop, as by this time all the civilized countries of EU II except the Welsh were using instant teleportation pods. For decades the Cyborg Governor General to the Welsh, Alun Cairnsbot MK IX had been promising his people the arrival of these pods. Sadly, the closest he got was opening an example pod on platform 2 of the Welsh capital, Swansea’s station, where during the grand opening, the air conditioning messed up and leaked water everywhere fusing Alun Cairnsbot MK IX and worse – getting dirty water stains on his red trousers.

Why isn’t Cardiff the capital in this bleak future? I hear you ask.

While Cardiff will obviously share the submerged future with the rest of Wales, for the people who live there and in the towns and villages included in the 20 mile exclusion zone around it, they will also welcome it.  Death by flooding will put an end to decades of pain and mutation caused by the dumping of thousands of tons of nuclear waste from Hinkley Point contained in millions of bags for life left over from public affairs events and old ‘awareness of stuff’ campaigns.

Swansea became the de-facto capital then. There were considerations of placing it in the west or the north but they needed a capital that had some sort of broadband connection or transport infrastructure. Initially, Swansea was to be finally awarded a lagoon as a reward for becoming the capital, paid for by the Barnett formula consequential from the £210 billion HS5 modern rail link between two small villages, 5 minutes apart in Buckinghamshire. Cairnsbot V finally announced the plan had fallen through, with the money going to an acute Falafel shortage in Shoreditch,  but was pleased to tell the wonderful people of Jackland that through a powerful display at the cabinet table, rather than the lagoon he had pleaded for – he received a box of Roses, a mug with ‘keep calm and carry on’ on and a nice card.

Please excuse my flight of fantasy. Maybe I am grumpy with all this football on the telly getting in the way of my soaps. You may have thought that I was a little random beginning this with Groundhog day but it’s because we are hearing the same old thing over and over again.

The M4 relief road? I am not arguing the rights and wrongs of it, it’s a bloody tough decision, but we can’t just keep bringing it up and then not making a decision either way.

It’s also to do with the ignoring of good ideas that are given to decision makers by independent commissions that are given public money to come up with good ideas.This ‘The Assembly needs an increase in AMs because of the workload’ or ‘Having a voting system where seats reflects votes ’‘ aren’t Johnny-come-lately ideas put forward by an independent EXPERT panel just last year, they were from the Richard Commission in 2004. So many years ago that the contestants on Love island, except for that Doctor, can’t even count up that far.

It’s not even specific subjects. It’s just the Groundhog day of nothing happening, or if it does, it’s just a bit crap and it’s not what it says on the tin. Back home, some of us talk about ‘Pembrokeshire promise’ which actually means ‘we will do it tomorrow’. Of course, tomorrow never comes, and that’s both electrification and the Swansea lagoon.

Are we going to be stuck in the continual treading water of wait and see on big decisions, our needs in Wales pushed down the priority list because we don’t know what’s coming down the road with the ‘B’ word. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for all involved, but our political leaders need to get off their arses and have the courage to say yes or no, then why and if yes, then when.

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