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.
Here’s another letter I sent to the County Times about True Wales’ misleading and extremely parochial argument in Montgomeryshire. Sadly this was not published this week.
Why would the fact that Llanidloes has a bypass influence my views on constitutional matters, as Mr Philip Glynn is suggesting? I agree with Mr Glynn that the traffic situation in Newtown is terrible, and I do use the roads around Newtown frequently, so experience the queues often. Traffic planning apart, I fail to see what this has to do with the referendum on clarifying the Welsh legislative system. There is a deference between the government who creates policy and the system within which it works, and the March 3rd vote is about the system, and not policy.
I too am amused by the headline of Mr Glynn’s letter in last weeks edition (18/2/11), which suggest that a no vote in March would bring an end to queues in Newtown! As I have raised on a few occasions in these pages, a no vote would mean that the present situation will remain, including the traffic queues. However, I will not claim that a YES vote will get rid of the queues, because it won’t – after all the vote isn’t about the traffic situation of Newtown. Mr Glynn could, however campaign for the 5th of May Assembly elections where his efforts might pay off and get something done about the terrible queues we all have to endure on a daily basis.
I’m not “having a laugh” by using the term simpler, because it will be simpler without having to send a Legislative Competence Order (LCO) to Westminster in order to pass a law in Wales. Could Mr Glynn explain perhaps why he thinks I’m “having a laugh”? I don’t think that waiting for 3 years to pass a law on child safety on school busses was particularly funny.
Mr Glynn claims that his campaign is a “local campaign, with local issues” – how local does this mean? – should I, a resident of Llanidloes not express a view on a national debate because I don’t live in Newtown? The issues of Assembly powers are the same in Llanidloes as they are in Newtown, and anywhere else in Wales.
A YES vote would be to the benefit for every person in Wales.
A no vote would change nothing – so if you like the way things are now then vote no.