So Plaid Cymru were ridiculed for their plans called Build4Wales where bonds would be issued to pay for investment in Welsh infrastructure etc. However it would seem that the UK government have agreed that this is a great idea, and offered it to Scotland. So what about Wales? When will Wales get its “Calman like” commission that was promised, and when will we be getting borrowing powers so we can pay our own way.
Incidentally, it would seem that Labour have decided that a few months after the election campaign that this is now a good idea. As Mabon ap Gwynfor succinctly puts it:
“Who is it that called it Pie in the sky? Lib Dems.
Who called in “ineffective”? Conservatives
Who said it was “to good to be true”? Labour”
A while ago I wrote this post a while ago, when i first received David Melding’s book. In it he argues that for the union to survive, the UK should look to a federal future. Mr Melding’s view is a departure from the traditional Conservative view on constitutional matters. His argument is well thought out, and is likely to find sympathetic ears from both Labour supporters and Plaid supporters. I’m not as sure how much support he is finding within his own party to this idea.
David Melding has recently written a blog post for the Institute of Welsh Affairs, where he argued that the UK has been one of the most successful states, however many would disagree. Sure there has been no revolution nor dissolution, however we do have devolution, an ad hoc arrangement that has no real clear direction.
This unplanned (if you could call it that) constitutional arrangement can’t be anything other than ad hoc, after all the entire British constitution is ad hoc, and is designed to suit the needs of which ever party occupies No. 10. What David Melding argues is that the UK needs a written constitution that outlines the roles of the UK government and the home nations’ governments. He also suggests that Lords reform should be used to give each home country equality within the a ‘Federal Britain’ through over-representation of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
I for one support a written constitution, and an equal representation to each home country within the Lords; an arrangement that has worked well for each state in the USA. Of course parliament’s lower chamber would be proportional to the population.
In his posting, David Melding doesn’t go into any detail about the jurisdiction of the UK parliament and the respected devolved bodies. A federal argument is something I hope develops within the ‘unionist’ parties, only then will Wales have a clear path for devolution.