What do you do with those bits of the state you don’t value? Or perhaps those bits of the state that have been historically exploited and ravaged for their mineral wealth and are perceived to be peripheral to Westminster’s interests?
Toxic waste might be an idea, or perhaps super prisons. Its perhaps easier if you have the active co-operation of a glove puppet government that regularly struggles to stand up for our communities let alone our nations national interests.
Frances Cook of the Howard League for Penal Reform responding to plans to build yet another new, 1,600 capacity mega-prison near Port Talbot, hit the nail on the head, by noting that Wales is being turned into a “penal colony” and the “Botany Bay of the 21st century”. She correctly noted that there was already a mega-prison in Wrexham, HMP Berwyn, and three others in Swansea, Usk and Cardiff.
“Wales is becoming the Botany Bay of 21st century,” she said. “England shoving its urban poor onto the hulks & shipping them off to Wales." A fair question to ask “Is England turning Wales into a new penal colony?”
Frances Cook also rejected any suggestions that the prison could create new jobs in Wales, warning that it would have low staffing and probably lead to job losses at prisons in Swansea and Cardiff.
The UK Government had already been accused of dumping England’s prison population on Wales after it was revealed that fewer than 10% of HMP Berwyn’s prisoners are from the north of Wales.
Andrew Neilson, director of campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said that Berwyn was never built to cater for Welsh needs, but rather “built in response to the overcrowding crisis in English prisons”.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said the land at Baglan would be better used as part of a new transport network for Swansea Bay. She also said the prison row was an example of Mr Jones's economic policies "leading us to a situation where our national interests are not being upheld".
Labour’s economic policy is leading us to a situation where our national interests are not being upheld. Devolution and self-government is supposed to allow to look after our own needs and to be an equal partner with our neighbours, not a servant.