Labour has launched its election manifesto with a promise to put the National Assembly on the same constitutional footing as the Scottish Parliament. Something that was already leaked on Sunday maybe in attempt to influence any polling.
The 2015 manifesto, launched by Ed Miliband this morning, pledges that the Assembly will be able to make laws in any area not specifically “reserved” by Westminster.
“Labour will put Welsh devolution on the same statutory basis as Scottish devolution, with a clear principle that powers are devolved unless specifically reserved, and that a Welsh legislature is a permanent feature of our constitutional arrangements.
This is welcome as an aspiration .We do not want another Tory government unilaterally abolishing the Assembly as Margaret Thatcher did to the GLC in the eighties. Though it is rather meaningless as the power to Abolish the Assembly will still remain with UK government it just makes it a little bit more difficult.
However it must not mean"thus far and no further" and it may not mean that the Assembly cannot be suspended. in the manner of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
We are also entitled to ask that if Wales can have same statutory basis as Scottish why can't it have the same powers?
Why devolve policing but no criminal justice and as Welsh Not British (and read Stuart's coverage of this after,) is points out .
Now we're getting to the crux of the matter, the promises of jam tomorrow. And the one that stands out for me is the promise of Wales having control over its power. The reason it stands out is because back in 2011 all but one Labour MPin Wales voted against devolving energy to Wales. And that's not all they have voted against. During the last parliament the Labour MPs in Wales have voted against devolving Air Passenger Duty, voted against devolving full control over Welsh water and voted against devolving The Crown Estates (part of the energy bill).
At the rate we are going a 16 year old voting for the first time in 2016 (if the Bill is passed) will still not see Wales receive parity with Scotland when they are my age . assuming Scotland is still in the Union that is.
But the answer lies with us as long as we continue to vote Labour we will be treated with contempt treated like voting fodder and forgotten or betrayed after the election.
Its time we rejected Devo Dipyn Bach. and even Devo Max and pushed for Independence and nothing less.
Its time we took our nations future in our own hands,