Sunday, November 23, 2003
Welsh Freemasons consider that because the Welsh Assembly has singled them out as an organisation, the membership of which is declarable by AMs, that we are pursuing a class war against them. What nonsense. It would be interesting to ask them what class they might belong to. Personally, I had never thought of the Freemasons in those terms. I would not wish to belong to a closed and secretive organisation. I am opposed to members of such organisations using their membership to secure influence in a non-accountable way. That is why I believe that it is right that if an AM is a Freemason then he should declare it openly for all to see. I would apply the same criteria to AMs whose partners are Freemasons and also to Civil Servants. What I do acknowledge is that Freemasonry is not the only such organisation. That is why it is right that we change our standing orders early next year to remove the discriminatory provision and apply it to all bodies that AMs may be a member of. After all I would also want to know if my political representative is a member of the Cardiff and County Club, Greenpeace and the Mumbles Yacht Club even though completely different criteria apply to all of these. That sort of information enables the electorate to draw their own conclusions about the allegiances and loyalties of politicians. It also protects the politician from accusations that they are trying to hide something.