The old legal concept that silence implies consent, which had existed since ancient times, was weakened when the Conservative government's moved to undermine the 'right to silence' in the late 1980's and 1990's. Yet more locally it has survived amongst local Labour politicians in Newport, especially in relation to the destruction of Newport's University.
Seeking votes prior to successive polling days local Labour politicians this year have endeavoured to make much of the potential of Newport's knowledge quarter, in and around the riverside campus of the University of South Wales. The city should take strides to develop its reputation of excellence when it comes to cyber security. Yet the case put by Labour is undermined by what happened to our city's University and their tacit consent in its destruction.
The demise of the former University of Newport, absorbed and asset stripped by the former University of Glamorgan, as a result of a combination of greed, stupidity, bad decisions and perhaps a failure on the part of the former management to understand how politics in Wales works, has done many of the former employees and the City of Newport few favours.
Despite the spin this was no merger, simply the removal of an educational rival and an asset stripping exercise, driven by a desperately ambitious Vice Chancellor (although admittedly sitting in the House of Lords as a Peer would not necessarily be the height of most people's ambitions).
In fairness to the former Management of the former University of Glamorgan, it can be said that they played a blinder, maximising the benefits of a close working relationship with Leighton Andrews, silencing the former board of governors, etc. All of those photo opportunities, dinners, freebies, etc for LA clearly paid off in the end. No wonder he needed to use the government limousine so much, prior to his eventual and much deserved electoral demise.
The same cannot be said for the former University of Newport, which regularly expended significant sums, to feed a rag tag bunch of Labour cronies (from various levels within the Labour machine) to little avail. When in trouble and seeking help the best they got was silence from a wide range of local Labour members at various levels - from Newport City Council, the National Assembly and Westminster.
So much for cultivating 'political influence' when it came to the crunch loyalty to the Labour machine counted more than any desire the save a significant local employer (600+ jobs) in Newport (and across the former county if Gwent) and a financial contributor to the local / regional economy (to the tune of £120 million a year).
The failure of local Labour elected' to speak out and to help our former University survive in its hour of need speaks volumes for the reality of the Party formerly know as New Labour in Wales. When it comes to the crunch party interests will always cone before community interests - something that should be remembered before casting our votes on June 8th.