Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Carwyns Big Idea is only in his head it seems

The BBC Parliamentary correspondent, David Cornock half heartily  ,questions whether t the UK government has rejected growing calls for a constitutional convention on the future of the United Kingdom after the Scottish referendum.

He reports that

Whip and spokesman Lord Wallace of Saltaire, a Liberal Democrat, told the House of Lords this afternoon there was no public demand for a convention and he had not heard any major political party suggest it. But he appeared not to rule out one in future.

But he admitted a convention would be a radical and rational step and encouraged a Welsh Labour peer to continue to campaign for one.

The historian K.O. Morgan, Lord Morgan of Aberdyfi, told him a convention would allow the government to address the "mess" of the current constitution.

He asked:

"Would not a constitutional convention help to clear up the mess firstly by clarifying the muddle over asymmetrical devolution, by clearing up the devo-max in Scotland that cannot speak its name, by re-asserting the authority of the Westminster parliament and above all at long last doing something about England and showing that England is not simply a bad football team?"

Lord Wallace replied:
"We'll leave the football team to one side. Constitutional conventions have on the whole taken place after revolutions in the United States, in France and elsewhere to go as far as a constitutional convention for the whole of the United Kingdom would itself be a radical and rational step. I encourage the noble Lord as a rational radical to pursue that but the public has currently no demand for it and I have not yet heard any major political party suggest this."

Former Plaid Cymru leader Lord Wigley told Lord Wallace:

"Whatever the outcome of the referendum in Scotland, whether it's a 'yes' vote or a 'no' vote the status quo is unlikely to be the final resting point of the argument.
"That being so, surely a piecemeal approach is not acceptable, particularly when in Scotland the government appear to be offering taxation powers which were recommended by Silk for Wales but which the government has rejected for Wales. So on what possible basis can there be a coherent progress when that is the approach taken by the government?"



The curious thing is that although elsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has repeatedly said there needs to be a constitutional convention - a formal way of looking at what powers Wales and other parts of the UK need.he does not seem to have done anything about it.


Back in October Plaid MP Hywel Williams asked the UK Government department responsible, the Deputy Prime Minister's office, what approaches the First Minister has made. This was the answer from Minister Greg Clark:

The Deputy Prime Minister has not received any recent representations on the topic of a constitutional convention from the Welsh Government.

Mr Williams said s that it raises questions about the First Minister's own commitment.
For all the First Minister's bluster, it seems that he's making no real progress on this.
It's becoming increasingly difficult to take him seriously when he claims to be committed to securing a better settlement for Wales. The only thing he has achieved is undermining people's confidence in his abilities.
It does look like Carwyn "Big Idea" has gone no further than himself maybe it shows his irrelevance in the future make up of the UK whether there's a YES or NO Vote.

What Wales neds is leadership as we face falling  further behind Scotland and indeed Northern Ireland after September .

It clearly does not exist among t "Welsh" Labour in the Assembly.

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