November 25, 2008

Hain’s Law

I always wondered how anyone could have come up with a system as complex and convoluted as the LCO system, and always doubted that Peter Hain could have come up with anything remotely original in any case.

Well now, thanks to Dafydd Idris Edwards, the mystery is solved – the LCOs are simply a rehash of something originally developed for Ireland more than 500 years ago, known as Poynings Law.

Well we all know how that ended up…….

Update - A good description of the current arrangements is given here:

November 21, 2008

Tommorrow's Wales - Today

Tommorrow's Wales have issued a statement regarding thier submission to the All-Wales Convention which is well worth a read.

November 20, 2008

Follow the Money

While there are always those who belittle the Assembly and its relevance to ordinary voters, they should take a step back and see who is responsible for spending our money……

The Welsh Assembly Government budget is around £15 billion, which when divided by the Welsh population, is equivalent to £5,000 per head.

The UK contribution to the European Union budget, is €103 billion over 5 years. But with an expected budget rebate of €46 billion, the annual net contribution is less than £8 billion, which when divided by the UK population is equivalent to around £130 per head.

The UK Government budget is £520 billion, which when divided by the UK population, is around £8,670 per head. But this is a total figure including the Welsh and European expenditure, and once these have been allocated, the remaining UK government expenditure in Wales would be only around £3,540 per head.

Just so we are clear, the responsibility for spending our tax money is:

Cardiff Bay £5,000
Westminster £3,540
Brussels £130

So it is imperative that with this level of financial responsibility, Welsh voters must take more interest in the Assembly, and the calibre of our AMs needs to be significantly increased. It is also glaringly obvious that the Assembly must be able to take full control over its affairs and to do this they need to have full law making powers.

Ps it also makes me wonder why some people get so agitated about the EU…..they are largely irrelevant!

November 17, 2008

A Ruse By Any Other Name........

The ongoing bickering between Cardiff Bay and Westminster about LCOs is slowly sucking the lifeblood out of ordinary voters who don’t hold a high opinion of politicians at the best of times.

So in order to bring some clarity, LCO stands for:

Legitimized Constitutional Obfuscation,

Invented by a group of
Lazy, Contemptible Opponents of devolution

Using a
Ludicrously Complicated Organisation,

To ensure that any
Lamentable, Controversial Obligations

can be avoided,
and that Wales remains
Loyal, Compliant & Obedient

Now what about that referendum??

Update - It seems it is a simple process after all.......27 Steps

November 11, 2008

The Elephant in the Room

On the one side of the ring is the Welsh Assembly, led by the Presiding Officer, Dafydd Elis Thomas. On the other side is the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, led by Welsh Sec Paul Murphy.

In the middle of the ring is a bloody great elephant that no one seems to have noticed in their little spat over constitutional niceties - the Welsh public. The supposed beneficiary of this Housing LCO.

The word going round is that the Welsh Sec is going to come down on the side of the Select Committee. If so, what are the Assembly going to do? Fill out a complaint form? Spend the next 5 years wrangling over it?

The whole LCO process is obscure, obtuse and open to misunderstandings.

Like this one.

If you were of a more conspiratorial cast of mind, you could argue that this is deliberately so. If you understand a little about the way our politicians think, you might be inclined to say it just reflects the fact that they use a language none of the rest of us understand.

Is it any wonder the bewildered public look askance at all this?

But here's the danger. If the WASC get their way on this issue, then a clear signal has been sent out: whether Labour or Tory government, they can block a referendum and get away with it, too. And why not?

Without a clear expression of wider public support, the Assembly will find itself isolated, and it's legitimacy as a representative institution will take a knock. Some of our MPs probably understand this, and some may not.

On the other hand, if the public were to make it's feelings felt on the matter, the Committee, and Comrade Murphy, might be given pause for thought.

After all, who wants to mess with an angry elephant?

November 10, 2008

Devolution Roundup

Between Obama and Glenrothes it has been a good week to bury bad news! Is that why the Conservative party eventually published an interim (not the full) report on the Welsh Constitution? If it was it failed because the report has had a great deal of response.

The Western Mail thought that it was a Waste of Eight Long Months and a plan to delay law-making poll with another devolution inquiry. Ouch!

What did the bloggers think?
Not a lot.

Glyn Davies the most supportive of Tory pro Devos Cannot make a fully considered post at this stage, because I've not had a chance to read it. If Glyn can't comment on a Tory policy document that he hasn't read then surely his political opponents can't either!

Oh Yes they can:

Che Grav-ara has been counting the days down in anticipation of the report. His conclusion 250 Days for Nothing.

Betsan Powys, being the sweetie that she is, couldn't work out if the report was a glacier mint or a fudge . Sir Wyn's suggestion of yet another committee to look at the devolution settlement reminded Betsan's colleague Vaughan of the Committee set up by a County Council to look at reducing the number of committees!

Bethan Jenkins AM is a sweetie too, one has to read between the lines of her blog post to see that she thinks that Sir Wyn's contribution is a load of ***** too, she's just to polite to say so! Bethan should learn how to be a real harridan from her colleague Leanne Wood, who has no hesitation in claiming that Sir Wyn is anti-Welsh and out of touch. Peter Black agrees with what Bethan and Leanne say, but he is just so more liberally polite in the way that he says so. Plaid's chair, John Dixon, however, dismisses the report as Management Speak.

Our own blog issues a challenge to Nick Bourn to come clean. Sadly he is yet to answer the call

If lancing the Roberts (interim) report wasn't enough excitement for us devo-holics Thursday saw the Bevan Foundation bash on the Evolution of Devolution. Its conclusion's can be found here in PDF form. Opinions can be found from Peter Black, who sees them not only defending the indefensible, but confusing criticism of the LCO process with the Assembly Measures Process.

On Thursday Adam Price MP called for for a Yes! Campaign to be started NOW! Adam is supposed to be a with it politico with a Facebook presence - the campaign is there Adam - join it. Ian James Johnson says YES to Adam's call.

Tomorrow's Wales is a website worth watching. An organisation that Supports, rather than actively campaigns for further Devolution, I think!!

In other news Happy Birthday to Angharad Annwyl, Pendroni's Mam

Amanwy has an update on the Bevan Foundation bash, and what Hugh Edwards, The Archbishop and others had to say.

And breaking news, David Jones MP and Peter Hain MP both agree that Assembly Members are too stupid to make decisions in the best interest of the people of Wales.

Add any links to your Blog's Devo stories, things worth reading in the MSM etc to the comments section for inclusion in next weeks roundup!

Gratuitous Links.
I blog at:
Hen Rerch Flin in Welsh and at Miserable Old Fart in English

November 9, 2008

We've already got Tory Rule

There are those who argue that we need a Welsh Parliament because we are likely to see a Cameron government in less than 2 years time (let's dismiss the "Brown Bounce" for what it is, a bounce!) and are basically headed back to a period of undemocratic Tory rule.

To those people, this quote from our beloved Welsh Sec, Comrade Paul Murphy, should give pause for thought;

"I think that the LCO that deals with the ending of the sale of council houses will produce controversy. For the past two decades in Wales, the fact that houses have been sold by local authorities has meant that people in Wales, by becoming home owners, have improved their lot."

Paul Murphy MP, Welsh Grand Committee speech, December 12th 2007.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that Thatcher's argument when she brought in the Right to Buy in the first place?

November 7, 2008

Hain's World

"The idea of a referendum is being used by those opposed to a Welsh Parliament as a delaying device."

Peter Hain MP, "A Parliament for Wales", Gwasg Gomer, 1994.

"There is no way the legislation could have got through without including the need for a could not have changed the 1997 settlement unless there was a referendum built in."

Peter Hain MP, referring to GOWA 2006 in a conference speech, November 6, 2008.

November 5, 2008

Yes or No Nick?

Nick Bourne has tried to promote a pro-devolution agenda - David Davies has predictabaly come out against - but what is the official Welsh Tory agenda??

Wyn Roberts was assigned to determine an inclusive Welsh response - and what did he come up with?? More Bull$hit !!

So Nick Bourne has got to decide - stick with the David Davies/Margaret Thatcher approach to political oblivion - hope that Wyn Roberts can paper over the cracks - or to go with a Glyn Davies approach - Wales first - London second.

Time to decide Nick - forwards or backwards - your call!!