More AMs? Time to bite the ballot

Mat Mathias gives his own unique take on the call for more Assembly Members

If there was a large list of things the Welsh public wanted, you could argue that ‘more politicians’ would be on there just after stubbing your toe, losing your keys, getting scurvy or Katy Hopkins coming around your house to watch the newest episode of Walking Dead with you, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.

Anyway, I am not talking about ‘all’ politicians I am talking about Assembly Members or Members of the Welsh parliament, Welsh Parliament members, Crach (geddit?) pot decision makers, or whatever their names will be in the future or now in a minute.

In the late 90s, it was decided by ‘the man’ that a Welsh Assembly would be able to function with 60 members, Scotland had 129, more than double while it seemed like Stormont was so big that every single person that lived in Northern Ireland had become an elected member. I exaggerate, it was 108 but now it’s down to a paltry 90 even though a million or so more people live here.

Because of the particular challenges that Northern Ireland presents, ‘the man’ decided that rather than pick an arbitrary number, they selected the one that was needed to do the job. It’s a radical thought when we all know that in all levels of work you look at the task at hand, find out how many you really need to do the job properly and then half it, so everything is a struggle and shit.

So maybe it’s time to be radical and look at how many AMs are needed to get the work done and done well.

Theresa May talked about Jams when she first became PM. It wasn’t a premonition of what she would be making as a retirement hobby before the next election, she was talking about ‘just about managing’. None of us thought she was talking about the Assembly.

But that’s what they are. Just about managing. There needs to be an increase.

I can hear somebody from the back shouting…

‘Forget about more AMs we could have more hospitals with the money.’

We won’t though. Every time there is an expense that people don’t like they go back to how many hospitals could be built with that money. Its bollocks but ok let’s look at the cost.

Excuse my Maths, while I am not up there with Phil Hammond, a man so miserable he avoids looking at himself in the mirror in the morning in case it makes him go back to bed for a month, I am also thirty-angle point forest gateau million per cent better at it than Dianne Abbot.

Last time I looked (half hour ago) the cost of each Assembly Member comes to about £257,800. According to the only figures I could find that were applicable from about 3 or 4 years ago, is that each of our MEPs cost about £1.79 million. So, once we have left the whore of Moab that is the EU that money could in theory come back to us which is the equivalent of about 27 more AMs or having an event with catering and wine at two events at the Senedd.

The Assembly has changed since 1999. The fact is that they have more to do and also, slowly and surely they have been accepted into the hearts of more and more of the nation. For most, being accepted into the heart means cwtches, invites for Sunday dinner and maybe a picture on the mantelpiece but in this case it means a shed load more constituency work and more powerful Ministers to hold to account.

People don’t automatically go to their MP anymore, good AMs and there are a lot out there now, are victims of their own success. They are constantly out and about in their manors doing good deeds and people see that, because of our system of PR they have a choice or they have more people to represent their issues. Could it be and one such as I couldn’t possibly say, that maybe the ones who think there shouldn’t be any more AMs simply aren’t much good…

What about Brexit?

At the moment, everything seems to be going swimmingly and I can only see good things happening said nobody but Liam Fox who still thinks the moon is made out of cheese as he watches it from his flat earth. Hands up if you think that Brexit, even if it is a success, will mean more work? Or less work?

Come on even the most stubborn of you out there must admit that it’s going to mean more work. We are taking power back so who the hell is going to deal with it.

We have already had a load of powers transferred down to us and next year we will have tax-raising powers. Remind me again how the over stretched AMs will manage because contrary to loads of moaners who think that politics is half an hour in a chamber every week, most AMs work over 70 hours a week. No matter how good they are, an increase in workload means that something is going to be missed. That means scrutinising laws that are to be passed that has a direct impact on my life. I bloody love my life so I want them to get it right. Right?

I know people are upset with the political system and politicians but as I have written many times before, they are not all the same – and we do a grave injustice to the brilliant ones when we say they are. So, it’s time to bite the ballot (I’m sorry, i’ve wanted to use that pun for years) and accept that we need a bolder, bigger, better Senedd. Let’s get it done – and then the decision to see if they are good enough is up to you, the electorate.

All articles published on Click on Wales are subject to IWA’s disclaimer.

Mat Mathias, after a small break found himself back in the bubble. These are his views and not of his employer or someone he met down the pub last week, honest.

Comments are closed.

Also within Politics and Policy