Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Late entrant for daft idea to reform Welsh Assembly of the year.

Every now again there cones a idea that highlights the contempt that various UK institutions hold for  the Welsh Assembly and make a case that they would not dare to suggest in Scotland.

The latest comes in a BBC news report that MPs could serve as Welsh government ministers in a bid to widen the talent pool, according to  the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

It occurs to me that if you wanted to widen the Talent pool then simply increase the Number so AMs by electing them

The claim by the Institute of Chartered Accountants Welsh director Martin Warren amove would also ease the "growing burden" on politicians in Cardiff Bay as more power is devolved, the group's Wales director Martin Warren said.

Again this looks like an argument for more elected AM rather  handing some of the reins of government to members of another Legislature

To be fair Mr Warren did acknowledge  that

If it proved difficult to increase the number of AMs from the present 60, a bigger role could be given to the 40 MPs from Wales as their role in Parliament diminished,

So maybe this is a clever way of pointing out that we need more AMs by pointing to a even more unpopular alternative

Or am I a bit too full of Seasonal Goodwill?

Peers serving in the UK cabinet have set the precedent, he added.

Yes and they are technically Members of Parliament although anther chamber 
Parties in the assembly have questioned the idea on the grounds of democracy and accountability.

The accountants' organisation said scrutiny of Welsh legislation was suffering due to "significant workloads for politicians shifting from Westminster to Cardiff Bay".

He's right there but  maybe he should question why this doesn't seem to be the case in Scotland 
One of the arguments for the SNP success in Scotland is that werhas the SNP sent their best people to Holyrood. Labour continued to send thier best people to Westminster.

You can argue about that and in Wales we can point to the fact that although we keep voting in a Labour Government in Cardiff Bay they are not up to it and have run the Assembly very poorly

He also  suggested letting the first minister appoint MPs to the Welsh cabinet, or inviting MPs to serve on assembly committees, in both cases reducing the demands on the time of politicians in Cardiff Bay.

 OK so if MPs could serve as Welsh government ministers then surely opposition parties could do the same.

Imagine a Party with no Welsh MPs  appointing MPs from English constituencies siting in the Assembly  shadow cabinet?

Another idea put forward was the creation of a non-political body of professionals who could advise on and scrutinise policy.

Er is that a suggestion of creating a second unelected chambre?

"Wales is a small country with limited resources and making best use of those resources within a democratic framework to achieve for Wales must surely be an objective that crosses all political borders," said Mr Warren.

 There doesn't seem to me much appetite for Mr Warren ridiculous proposal

Dr Rebecca Rumbul, manager of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, said involving MPs in assembly business might be "confusing" to voters.

Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black was also doubtful, claiming MPs 

 "won't be able to do either job properly".

For Plaid Cymru, AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas said:

 "Placing the members of another parliament in the government of a different country would rightly be considered as undemocratic."
A Welsh government spokesman said:

 "Ministers are selected from the membership of the democratically elected National Assembly and we see no need to change this.

This is a ridiculous and insulting idea. How many of the Welsh MPs are really that talented.

Given that very few of Labour's Welsh MPs ever make it to either the Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet these days very few these days.

The first thing we need for the Assembly to work properly is to get a First Minister with a vision for at the very least it to have the same powers as the Scottish Parliament and not be content in simply working out how to spend our pocket money (sorry Block Grant).

It is unlikely that this is going to come from the current "Welsh Labour" party no mater who they bring into the Assembly government..


  1. Much sympathy, when Labour were in power with the method that they suggested, list members were to be considered second class members, not having been elected to a constituency. Now all three opposition ahem, leaders are list members. As for the block grant, well we have the same problem which will not change until we achieve Independence. I keep saying we have an administration not a government as yet, and this can only happen when all the reins of power are in our grasp and the same goes for Wales. Merry Christmas Glyn, always nice to see what is happening in the land which holds my cousin and where my uncles is buried.

  2. This is a bonkers idea by boring accountants that understand nothing of the real world

  3. Hardly a democratic solution to the problem and with one or two notable exceptions, they'd be hard pressed to find much talent amongst the latest crop of Welsh MPs at Westminster.