The historian Hywel Williams an not the Plaid MP has written in the Telegraph a piece
Claiming that Devolution has ruined Wales and that Handouts from Westminster combined with greater political independence have led to a loss of original thinking
Hywel Williams was a cabinet adviser between 1993 and 1995 and and has long provided us with a somewhat revisionist view of Welsh history from the right which while I find that I be very rarely agree with his analysis at leas makes me thinkt usually pushing me the opposite way
Government expenditure now accounts for two-thirds of the country’s national income – a point at which Welsh dependence on the Treasury acquires a dimension that is neocolonial. The devolutionary settlement of the late Nineties gave Wales the appearance of greater autonomy, but the transfer of an ability to spend other people’s money has had an unfortunate effect. Greater political independence, if it is to be a healthy development, ought to be associated with intellectual originality. But Wales’s devolutionary world remains mired in a set of attitudes that see nothing wrong with centralised economic planning, however ineffective, and the steady extension of subsidies, however ruinous of enterprise.A devolution dividend should have been delivered by now – 15 years after the brave new dispensation. But most indices are bleak in terms of joblessness, secondary school results and of course the NHS, where the Welsh passion for the committee, given new life by devolution, has ensured a bureaucratic sclerosis.I can'r disagree with some of his statement Devolution has not given us the dividend we needed or deserved .
But this is because of one of the factors that Williams does not highlight the fact that the assembly is merely a outlet for spending Money and has no real powers to galvanise Wales.
We are after all only able to spen the pocjkt monney westminster gruduingly givres.
There a World of difference between an Independent Nation or indeed a federal state that has control over is its economy whilst all the Welsh Government can do his work out how to divide the money it gets from Westminster and with the NHS getting the bulk how to set priorities for the rest.
. And its self-congratulatory talk of being “radical” is framed by nostalgia rather than contemporary need. It may be difficult to justify state socialism in explicit terms these days but “community values” can work as a kind of synonym. Indeed, Cymry has its origins as a term for those who band together.
The fact that this self-ascription originated among 7th-century warriors on the run need not discomfit the Welsh rhetorician of today who wants to establish “community” as an unique national value. Schools and hospitals therefore exist primarily to serve “local communities” – a convenient abstraction which transcends duties of care to individual patients, parents and pupils.
Similarly, the derelict condition of the South Wales valley towns is supposedly alleviated by the existence of “community centres”. Social relationships are real enough as a source of strength and support. But enjoyment of others’ company is not a character trait that is unique to the Welsh condition, and few of my compatriots entertain that fantasy.
Coming from a supporter of the Conservatives who have a leadership of Public Schoolboys its perverse to claim Wales Wales has a ruling class whose composition is drawn from the major political parties
Williams offers criticism but very litle in solutions unless it to suggest we abandon the Assembly and submit to the wise rule rule of David Cameron ,George Osborne and Iain Duncun Smith. Indeed this seems to be part of the Tories Assembly Bashing campaign from Westminster Tories
We need to admit the failings of the Assembly but in doing so we must reject the idea that we can't provide answers ourselves.
But we need a reinvigorate of Welsh life and ed that will not come from Blue or Red Tories in Westminster but in the creation of an Independent Wales base on the sought of community socialism Hywel Williams seems to be so opposed to.
One further point if you look at the article be prepared to read the comments column which invokes a number of insulting indeed racist views on Wales and its People .
Reading this should to lead us not to rally around the Assembly and the Welsh Labour government but to realise that what we have insignificant for the job that needs to be done and Labour must change from its complacent government or be prepared surrender power to a party that has a the sort of radical view for the future of Wales than Hywel wiliams would really hate.