Monday, 31 October 2016

Is it now Tory Policy to describe any form of Welsh Nationalism as Anti-English.

I am beginning to suspect that the LEAVE vote in Wales, has encouraged the Tories in Wales to portray themselves as the Anti-Establishment party and devolution and the Assembly as the Establishment.

But it may be worse than that it may be they are trying to equate any form of support for devolution,  as being  a form Anti-English immigration.

Wales Online claims that

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has attacked politicians, who accuse critics of further devolution of being anti-Wales.

The South Wales Central AM used a speech to party officials held in private. to spell out his belief that there is nothing contradictory about being both Welsh and British.

And he said that opposing further devolution of powers does not make a person “any less Welsh”.

It doesn't seem to be that private if we know what he said however

The Wasting Mule's website say that

"He is understood to have said:

“Promoting the enormous value of the Union in no way diminishes the pride and endless belief we have for Wales"“Our relationship within the UK is one based on a healthy exchange – a relationship where each country plays to its strengths, working side-by-side to shape a strong United Kingdom.“For unionists of any political colour, it can be all too easy on occasions to retreat, shy away, and cow to the nationalist tune when singing the virtues of our great Union.

“There is no embarrassment in calling yourself Welsh and British – quite the contrary; it is something we should cherish given the deep intertwinement of our rich histories.“Westminster is not the demonic force Plaid Cymru and their ilk would have you believe – they are servants to the Welsh people as much as they are servants to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Mr Davies went on to accuse First Minister Carwyn Jones of seeking “solace in the nationalist crutch afforded to him by Leanne Wood and Plaid Cymru, which scandalously allows him to slip away from having to confront and address his government’s failings”

“Their relationship is one bred out of toxic interdependence, and it’s the people of Wales who are left paying the price,” he said.“And as proud unionists we have a duty to stand up to this weakness that threatens the United Kingdom, to fight against the subtle, dog-whistle politics Plaid Cymru seek to instigate when we attempt to promote the mutual benefits of the Union.“We need to stand up against this ‘cosy nationalism’ - we should not fall into the trap of viewing Plaid Cymru as the harbingers of cuddly, so-called progressive politics.“Plaid’s ultimate aim - what they live and breathe for - is an independent Wales - a politics engineered to divide our great nation.”

He went on to say that criticising devolution of further powers was not anti-Welsh.

He said:
“If there is opposition to the devolution of a particular power, it doesn’t make that individual any ‘less Welsh’ - in fact it’s quite the opposite.“This misplaced rhetoric is, on occasions, guilty of creeping into our political discourse and as proud Welsh men and women we have a duty to rally against it.”
Note Mr Davies seems to be saying rather than the views of a minority, this Anti-English attitude is mainstream.

Plaid’s Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards said: 

“It’s sad to see the leader of the Conservatives in Wales resorting to sensationalised ranting in the hope of being heard.“His distorted view of Plaid Cymru’s relationship with the Welsh Government shows that he has little understanding of how a robust and responsible opposition party works.“This was demonstrated time and again during the last Assembly when the Conservatives in Wales were happier issuing hollow criticisms than forcing the government to raise its game whilst properly holding it to account.“The Leader of the Tories in Wales should be demanding a formal role for the National Assembly for Wales in the Brexit negotiations. Like all unionists however, he is far happier being told what to do by London, rather than putting the interests of Wales first.”

A spokesman for Carwyn Jones said:
"The Tories, under Andrew RT Davies, have gone backwards in recent years and their Assembly election result was abysmal."They would be better off spending some time together as a group considering why the public don't trust them, rather than making lazy and nonsensical attacks on other parties.

It seems to me that the Tory Welsh leader is trying to create an impression that similar to his Westminster colleague Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns

In a recent Question Time programme, as recorded in Neath on Thursday evening,

"when there's a migration into Welsh-speaking communities, the integration in those communities, and I'm a passionate Welsh speaker... isn't necessarily as it is and many of your members have taken direct action in the past, many have broken the law to that effect"."I would hope (Leanne Wod) that you'd condemn them bearing in mind the standpoint you're taking now," he said.

Ms Wood protested:

 "Who are you talking about? What are you talking about?"

Later Ms Wood accused the Welsh secretary of "distorting history with smears and insinuation", saying he was "in denial over the divisive rhetoric coming from numerous voices in his own Tory party".

"‎The secretary of state for Wales is guilty of peddling the exact sort of myths and smears which breed hostility and turn people against each other," she said."Such comments and insinuations are not what you would expect from a government minister. If he had any integrity, he would withdraw what he said."

I now wonder if Mr Cairn's disgraceful outburst was not now a one-off and together with Anrew RT Daives there is a deliberate Tory campaign to label all supporters of further devolution, let alone Independence as Anti English racist.

A Policy that is being used in Scotland by a Unionist Media, the latest example being exposed by Wings Over Scotland

Are both Mr Cairns and Andrew RT Davies  hoping for a backlash to their ridiculous statement? 

Where they are hoping that there will be a number of abusive responses on social media, and they together with their media allies can pick out the worst and present them as mainstream Nationalist thought therefore proving their accusations.

So be careful how you respond to this idiocy, you might be playing in their hands,

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Maybe we should concentrate on the US Vice Presidential Candidates?

If I was a US citizen faced with the  choice of Clinton or Trump an feeling that the latter is so appalling I would have to hold my nose and vote for the only marginally appealing Hillary. I would perhaps be loking at the Vice Presidtal candidates  a bit more carefully

 Hillary "problem" with Email  has surfaced and  Trumps alleged sexual harassment of Women (which would have seen Operation Yew Tree investigating in the UK) leads to the possibility that bot could be impeached within a year.

So who could find themselves enter the White House if Hilary or Donald are forced from office.

I have used Blue for the Democrats and Red for the Republicans in accordance  with US convention


Timothy Michael "TimKaine (born February 26, 1958) is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Virginia

  • Kaine, a Roman Catholic, is personally against abortion,but is "largely inclined to keep the law out of women's reproductive decisions."
  • Kaine personally opposes capital punishment, but presided over eleven executions while governor.] Kaine said: "I really struggled with [capital punishment] as governor. I have a moral position against the death penalty. But I took an oath of office to uphold it. Following an oath of office is also a moral obligation."
  • Kaine acknowledges the scientific consensus on climate change, and in a 2014 Senate speech criticized climate change deniers, as well as those who "may not deny the climate science, but ... deny that the U.S. can or should be a leader in taking any steps" to address the issue.
  • Kaine has said that he is "strongly for the regulation of the financial industry," and he supports the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In July 2016, Kaine signed a bipartisan letter that "urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to 'carefully tailor its rulemaking' [under Dodd-Frank] regarding community banks and credit unions so as not to 'unduly burden' these institutions with regulations aimed at commercial banks. The letter prompted criticism from progressives who viewed it as anti-regulation
  • n the Senate, Kaine has supported the normalization of U.S.–Cuban relations and the international nuclear agreement with Iran.
  • Kaine expressed support for Israel's right to defend itself during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.] Kaine also supported the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen]
  • Kaine is a gun owner.] He has supported expanded background checks for weapons purchases as well as "restrictions on the sale of combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines
  • Kaine supported passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 ("Obamacare"), saying in 2012: "I was a supporter and remain a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. I felt like it was a statement that we were going to put some things in the rear-view mirror."] In 2013, Kaine said that he agreed that changes to the ACA should be debated, but criticized Republicans for "wrapping them up with the threat" of a federal government shutdown
  • In 2006, Kaine campaigned against an amendment to the Virginia State Constitution to bar same-sex marriage,7] and in March 2013, Kaine announced his support of same-sex marriage
  • Kaine is "generally pro-union" and has received a 96 percent lifetime Senate voting rating from the AFL-CIO, which praised his selection as vice presidential nominee


Michael Richard "MikePence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician and attorney serving as the 50th Governor of Indiana. Pence was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

  • Pence has been a lifelong opponent of abortion, and his unwavering support of abortion restrictions has gained him the support of grassroots conservative activists] Pence began seeking to defund Planned Parenthood in 2007,[ and in three congressional sessions introduced legislation to block organizations that provide abortion services from receiving any Title X funding, even for services not related to reproductive health or family planning,
  • Pence has been a staunch opponent of efforts to expand LGBT civil rights. In 2000, Pence stated "Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexuals as a 'discrete and insular minority' entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.] He called for "an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus" and instead advocated for resources to be directed toward conversion therapy programs, "[for] those seeking to change their sexual behavior
  • Pence has questioned proposals to decrease penalties for low-level marijuana offenses in Indiana, saying that the state should focus "on reducing crime, not reducing penalties." In 2013, Pence expressed concern that a then-pending bill to revise the state's criminal code was not tough enough on drug crimes, and successfully lobbied to limit the reduction in sentencing of marijuana offenses.
  • Pence was a co-sponsor of H.J.Res.73, a 2011 spending limit amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment would limit federal spending to "the average annual revenue collected in the three prior years, adjusted in proportion to changes in population and inflation."
  • Pence voted against the act that created Medicare Part D, a Medicare prescription-drug benefit.] Pence voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] In June 2012, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in NFIB v. Sebelius, Pence likened the ruling to the September 11 terrorist attacks in a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference. He immediately apologized for making the statement.
  • n June 2006, Pence unveiled an immigration plan (which he described as "No Amnesty Immigration reform") that would include increased border security, followed by strict enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and a guest worker program. This guest worker program would have required participants to apply from their home country to government-approved job placement agencies that match workers with employers who cannot find Americans for the job
  • Pence supported the USA Patriot Act on its passage in 2001,[194] and in 2005 called the act "essential to our continued success in the war on terror here at home."[195] Pence was a sponsor of legislation in 2009 to extend three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act (the library records provision, the roving-wiretapprovision, and the lone-wolf provision) for an additional ten years.[
  • Pence "does not accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change."] In 2001, Pence wrote in an op-ed that "Global warming is a myth,"] saying that "the earth is actually cooler today than it was about 50 years ago". In 2006 and 2009, Pence expressed the view that it was unclear whether climate change was driven by human activity, and in 2009 he told political commentator Chris Matthews that there was a "growing skepticism in the scientific community about global warming”.
  • Pence supported President George W. Bush's unsuccessful 2005 proposal to partially privatize Social Security] by allowing workers to invest part of their Social Security payroll taxes in private investment accounts and reduce the increase in benefits for high-income participants Pence had previously proposed a similar but more aggressive reform plan than Bush's.Pence supported the Iraq War Resolution, which authorized military action against Iraq] During the Iraq War, Pence opposed setting a public withdrawal date from Iraq. During an April 2007 visit to Baghdad,4] Pence chaired the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and was a prominent supporter of George W. Bush's Iraq War troop surge of 2007. At the time, Pence stated that "the surge is working" and defended the initial decision to invade in 2003.Pence has opposed closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and trying the suspected terrorists in the United States As an alternative,
  •  Pence has said that the "enemy combatants" should be tried in a military tribunal.Pence has stated his support of Israel and its right to attack facilities in Iran to prevent the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons, has defended the actions of Israel in its use of deadly force in enforcing the blockade of Gaza, and has referred to Israel as "America's most cherished ally". He visited Israel in 2014 to express his support, and in 2016 signed into law a bill which would ban Indiana from having any commercial dealings with a company that boycotts Israel.

On the basis of this perhaps the best we can hope for is a Clinto victory where she is forced to resign and Kaine takes over . However that could be the Republicans sweeping the board in four years time.

We are really in the shit. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Welsh Assembly must be prepared to refuse consent o latest Wales Bill

Professor Richard Wyn Jones is the director of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University has given an extraordinary critique of the latest attempt of Devo Dipyn Bach.

Writing in the Wasting Mule he says.

The Wales Bill suffers from two fatal flaws: it’s a piece of legislation that has been both poorly conceived and badly drafted.
They combine to fatal effect to outline a system of devolution that would not only be as cumbersome as its predecessors, but in some important ways would be even more restrictive and frustrating.
The Bill is based on what the UK government has rather grandiosely titled the ‘St David’s Day Agreement’.
This was the end result of a lowest common denominator process in which each of the political parties was allowed to wield a veto on the individual recommendations of the Silk Commission; doing so without any need to explain (privately let alone publicly) their behaviour.
Those who continue to oppose devolution like to claim that the Westminster parliament is far more effective at scrutinising legislation than the National Assembly for Wales.
Whilst the ‘big guns’ blast on the banks of the Thames, on the shores of Cardiff Bay it’s Billy Connolly’s ‘wee pretendy parliament’.
Naturally enough, Welsh parliamentarians at Westminster are particularly partial to this particular saw.
Now the Assembly has its problems. But, really, it takes a particular kind of chutzpah to argue the case that Westminster is somehow a more effective legislature than the National Assembly for Wales when we recall the complete pig’s ear that the former has made of the legislation that underpins the latter.
He continues
It’s doubtful that it was ever possible to produce a sensible, stable devolution dispensation on such weak foundations as those provided by the St David’s Day Agreement. But without doubt, its deficiencies have been further magnified by the grudging, negative attitudes on display across Whitehall during the drafting process. Attitudes that a weak, marginalised Wales Office has been quite unable to challenge.
In drawing up the list of those issues that will be reserved to London, Whitehall departments have seized the opportunity to reserve every power they might conceivably ever ‘need’ in relation to Wales.
Matters have been listed because Whitehall civil servants seem to believe that Welsh politicians can’t be trusted to deal with them responsibly.
Others have seemingly been added to the list because Whitehall regrets letting go of them when powers were devolved to Scotland.
Whitehall has even availed itself of the opportunity to reverse the losses that it suffered at the hands of Welsh Government in the Supreme Court. Not only has the attitude been nega
tive and grudging; it’s been patronising and vindictive too.

He's critical of the Bill is damning enough but perhaps its the official opposition in Westminster that he is most critical of.
The efforts of Welsh Labour MPs during the Commons debates can only be described as pathetic. Unwilling to engage with the deep structural flaws of the Bill (for reasons to which we will return), they concentrated their intentions instead on relative minor, peripheral issues.
Predictably, they also availed themselves of the opportunity to return to the alleged constitutional outrage of the government’s plans to reduce the number of Welsh MPs; an issue that clearly exercises some far more than the prospects of yet another inadequate Welsh devolution dispensation.
It is embarrassing that those of us who seek much more than this Dog Breakfast  may  need the support of a body many of us would like to replaced

For the Mule reports that 
A committee of peers have added their backing to those who say the Wales Bill legislation would actually reduce the powers of the National Assembly.
And they are calling on the UK Government to clarify if it intended to reduce those powers and, if not, to set out what steps it will take to rectify this.
The report was published by the House of Lords Constitution Committee, which has been scrutinising the legislation as part of its passage through Parliament.
Lord Lang of Monkton, chairman of the committee, said:
 “The Bill risks, in some areas, actually reducing the powers of the Assembly.
“We have asked the Government whether that was their intention, and if not, how they intend to avoid unintentionally diminishing the Assembly’s powers.”
The peers welcome the move to change the foundation of the National Assembly’s authority to a “reserved powers” model, meaning AMs can legislate on any subject not explicitly reserved by the UK Parliament.
However, they warn that power is reserved in so many areas it will become a recipe for litigation.
Lord Lang said:
 “The list of reservations is so extensive, and the legal tests that govern the Assembly’s powers so complex and vague, that it could be a recipe for confusion and legal uncertainty.
“The outcome is likely to be increased litigation as the courts are asked to decide exactly where the boundaries of the Assembly’s authority lies.
“We are disappointed that there is no clear explanation from the Government as to the rationale for the scope of the powers being devolved under the Wales Bill.
“As we noted in our report The Union and devolution, devolution must take place on the basis of appropriate principles to ensure that the devolution settlements evolve in a coherent way, rather than in a reactive, ad hoc manner.”

Personally, I feel that the current Bill will not be changed by the Lords ,or at any other stage that meets the concerns raised.

That is why I believe that it will be necessary for the Welsh Assembly to refuse to consent  to the Bill.

Plaid should indicate that they will Press for a refusal, and call on the other Parties in the Assembly to do announce they are also prepared to do so.

I believe this will not be a case of "Cutting of ones nose o suit ones face" but making a stand against legislative bullying.

As i have said we need Parity with Scotland not more Devo Dipyn Bach and its time  the Labour Party in Wales in particular told us whether  they support this idea, or do they have further ambition for Wales beyond having what cannot even be called a ‘wee pretendy parliament’.


Friday, 28 October 2016

Wales must demand "Parity with Scotland" now.

The Wasting Mule claims that  package of powers that the UK Government plans to devolve to the National Assembly could be the “last major piece of legislation on Wales for a long time”, according to the man charged with taking the Wales Bill on the final stage of its journey through Parliament.
Lord Bourne – who led the Conservative group in the Assembly for more than a decade and is now a Wales Office minister – has urged AMs not to delay the passing of the landmark legislation.
The Wales Bill must be approved by a vote in the Assembly known as a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM).
Mr Bourne said:
“It’s a consensual process. It takes two to tango and if we haven’t got a dancing partner, [if] we haven’t got an LCM we haven’t got any legislation.”
 A key criticism has been that the legislation does not contain provisions to give the Assembly responsibility for Wales’ police forces.
Mr Bourne said:
“I made it absolutely clear, as has the Secretary of State in the Commons, that we’re not going to be in the business of transferring policing or law and order powers.”
 But political opponents have pointed out the measures do not go far enough – and now the Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee says it could even “roll back” the existing devolution settlement.

the Labour AM for Ogmore Huw Irranca-Davies. argued

“The big headline from our findings and recommendations as this Wales Bill heads to the House of Lords is that it simply will not deliver a lasting, durable settlement,” 

 Mr Irranca-Davies added:
 “Within the report there are not only recommendations but also specific amendments that we hope the Lords will consider
....“The speed with which this went through the Commons means the burden of responsibility of making this bill as good as it can be in its current shape falls on the Lords.“We do welcome some aspects such as the in-principle move from a reserved to a conferred model, but we have also stated very clearly 
Citing one example of where he believes the Wales Bill falls short, he also said:
“If the National Assembly or Welsh Government wanted to legislate on smacking of children, currently it’s pretty clear they are able to do so.
“But under the scope of these new reservations and what they relate to in areas of law it could well be the National Assembly is no longer able to do so.”
While he was still prime minister, David Cameron promised the Wales Bill’s settlement would last “for generations to come”.
.... “The unanimous verdict of this committee, in light of the overwhelming evidence, is this is not going to last for generations. It won’t even last for years.
“This is not the clear, transparent and durable bill that we were promised.”
  It is to be remembered that Nick Bourne  was the Conservatives' Chief Spokesman in Wales  when he led the unsuccessful “Just Say NO” campaign against Welsh devolution during the 1997 referendum. 

He later became the leader of the Tories in the Assembly where he abandoned some of his hostility  before retiring tho the Red bBenches of the House Of Lords.

Oddly my main argument is not with Nick Bourne and the Tories (it what I expect)  it is the failure of the other Parties in Wales to push forward for new powers

Mr Irranca-Davies.  may claim that that  the current Bill " doesn’t deliver greater parity with Scotland or Northern Ireland".

But where if anywhere does has Labour argued for that ?

Lib Dem Peter Black  writes on this topic 

We can't find ourselves in the situation again of parties campaigning for yet another Bill once this has been passed when there is so much more to do around the Welsh economy, education system and health service, not to mention Brexit.
But I am at a loss to find any recent call from Liberal Democrats for parity with Scotland.

What is the Liberal Democrats position both as a "Federal Welsh Party" or as a Westminster party.

What ever happened to Home Rule all-round anyway?

Plaid may well be concentrating on the message pf an "Independent Wales within the European Union" but surely  every time we are offered Devolution Dipyn Bach and told that is all we will be getting. Plaid should make it clear that we demand Parity with Scotland.

As Scotland discuss another Independence Referendum  we will in no doubt see a new VOW , for even more powers devolved to Scotland.

Whether there will be any real intention of carrying any promise out is doubtful .

the original VOW was broken almost immediately.

But Independent or not Scotland can still expect further devolution. 

We in Wales can if we still back Unionist Parties will get nothing. 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

A Progressive Alliance is not just about beating the Tories.

I am all in favour of a Progressive Alliance but such an alliance is not just about stopping the Tories its about changing the whole political system,
The left-wing think tank Compass yesterday called on Labour and the Greens to give the Liberal Democrats a free run in the upcoming Richmond by-election may at first seem to have merit.
But the by-election follows Tory MP Zac Goldsmith’s resignation yesterday over the government’s decision to allow a third runway at Heathrow to go ahead.
So the problem is this election wil be a battle between Zac Goldsmith  standing n a stop Heathrow platform  whilst the Lib Dems  wil be arguing  for a mini referendum on Brexit and will clearly focus on this
Over 70% of the Richmond Park electorate voted to remain within the EU. The main challengers to Zac the Independent Tory comes from the Liberal Democrats, who are strong remainers and opposed to the Heathrow expansion. The fact that the only two credible candidates agree on the main issue gives voters latitude to base their choice on other factors. In this regard Zac Goldsmith is out-of-tune with his constituents.
Who then will be arguing against the Tories record on Austerity something only a few years ago the Liberal Democrats were backing the Austerity program as part of the coalition.
And it must not be forgotten  Labour opposition to the Tory-LibDem cuts was lukewarm to say the least 
Before any Progressive Alliance should turn into electoral pacts surely we should be looking at a common program?
If there was any impetus  in such an alliance then you could point to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and Green Party MPCaroline Lucas  confirming that the three parties will work together as a progressive alliance in Westminster. 

Making the announcement ahead of the Queen’s speech last year  the three parties said they would unite whenever possible to battle the Westminster parties’ obsession with austerity. 

I believe that a Progressive Alliance  should have a number of Red Lines,

  1. A end to Austerity cuts and reversal of such schemes as the Bed Room Tax
  2. Reform of the Electoral system with the introduction of Proportional representation.
  3. Abolition of the House of Lords  and its replacement  with an elected chamber
  4. Further Devolution of power to the Nations of the UK and either the creation of an English Parliament or English Regions.
  5. The position of Scotland and Northern Ireland in that they voted against Brexit must be taken into consideration and they should have the right to pursue their own arrangements.
  6. The rights the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland to Independence if backed by its people should be guaranteed , as should their right o call a referendum.
  7. Priority given to Green issues and an full appraisal of Nuclear Power 
  8. An end to intervention in wars that are more about the UK prestige in the World rather for humanitarian reasons
  9. Freedom of movement within the European Union
  10. A clear stand made against racism and no pandering to the right wing press in the hope that they may not attack you.

You may not agree on all and may have others; but I can't see how anyone can call themselves progressive if they don't agree with most.

Being opposed to the Tories is not enough  Any Progressive Alliance must agree on what sought of future is on offer by replacing them.

We have already had the Blair Brown Blue Labour year,s and the Lib Dems being the bag carriers of a viscous Tory  attack on the welfare state. We don't need to go down either road again.

Plaid, Greens and the SNP at least appear to  support real change, but even under Corbyn and a Liberal Democrat shedding its coalition collaboration i am not totally convince these two parties are there yet,

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

We need a proper blue-print on devolving policing to Wales.

I am wary of claims that devolution of powers will immediately mean a financial boost .
So I am not sure that a Plaid Cymru has claim that he police forces of Wales could be more than £25m a year better off if the Assembly gains responsibility for policing, .
Jonathan Edwards, the party’s Treasury spokesman, said that a formula that better reflects population would see Wales’ forces gain around £25m.
The devolution of policing was recommended by the cross-party Silk Commission but was not included in the Wales Bill, which is now going through parliament. The Welsh Government is pushing for the power, arguing the police are the “only emergency service not devolved”.
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Mr Edwards said:
 “The 43 police forces of Wales and England often have different needs and challenges. Policing is a field for which sophistication and complexity is needed in its funding formula to properly account for the relative needs of each force.
“The review last year sought to place greater emphasis on socio-economic data and more general crime figures. Such a formula doesn’t properly consider the workload differences of each constabulary and would have resulted in a £32m cut to Welsh forces.
“Figures provided to me by Dyfed Powys Police indicate that funding our forces in line with population would result in an additional £25m for the four forces in Wales. This is particularly important when we consider that policing is devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland for whom the new formula would not apply.”
 He continued:

 “If policing was devolved to Wales, a position supported by all police and crime commissioners, the overall Barnett formula for funding public services would indeed be based on our population...​“Plaid Cymru will be actively working to lobby the policing minister to implement a formula that does not disadvantage the four Welsh forces, but the case for the devolution of policing to the National Assembly grows by the day and has never been stronger. It seems the best way to protect our policing system is to remove it from the simplistic one-size-fits-all approach at Westminster and operate a system that is developed in Wales and works for Wales.”
I am not sure I agree with a formula based on population rather than soci-economic data  as Plaid are arguing .

But  there could be an argument that a force that successfully reduces crime in areas of social and economic depression may have its funding reduced as it is claimed they are no longer dealing with the same problem anymore and it funding should go wit greater crime statistics.

Population  also has  a problem in funding , Forces with a large  rural area may not have the same problem that large urban areas have , but the complexity of policing such rural areas means that you may have a more dispersed force and that could lead to further expense.

I am not dismissing Plaid and Jonathan's argument , but if the case for devolving Policing to the Welsh Assembly is to be made then I am not sure claims that we could be £25 million a year better off (or worse off) are really the main argument.

What we need is a paper on how a devolved Police force should be run by the Welsh Government.

Would we copy the Scottish Government and have an all Wales Police Force subject to a Minister?

There are questions on how successful this has been and it would certainly be worth looking into.

I really want Policing devolved,but its not the likes of me that need convincing .

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: 

“We have made no secret of our desire to see responsibility for policing devolved to Wales. Policing is the only emergency service not devolved; remedying this would enable stronger joint working with the other emergency services. “Devolution would also enable future legislation affecting policing and community safety in Wales to be properly tailored to Welsh circumstances

If that is true and they want these powers , then shouldn't they be considering how this will be carried out?

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Carwyn has no cards to play over Brexit.

The UK Prime Minister's called  "grown up approach" to relationship with the devolved legislatures seems to floundered already

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones urged the UK Government to put meat “on the bones” of Brexit after leaving talks with Theresa May and the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Welsh Labour leader warned that Downing St talks had left them with “no more certainty as to where the UK Government is going”.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed frustration about the lack of clarity.
She said:
 “I don’t know any more now about the UK Government’s approach to the EU negotiations than I did before I went in to the meeting.
"I can’t speak for the other devolved administrations but I think there was a degree of frustration shared by all of us about that.”
Ms Sturgeon has said she will bring forward proposals for a "flexible Brexit" that would keep the Scotland in the single market even if the rest of the UK was not.
She added:
 "We have still got a lot of work to do, and I think it is incumbent on the UK government to inform that work by being much more open about what they are trying to achieve.
"I am determined, for my part, to do everything I can to work within this process as far as I can to protect Scotland's interests.
"My frustration is that I am hearing warm words from the UK government, but not yet seeing those warm words backed up by substance or action."
And she told the BBC she was not "bluffing" about the possibility of a second independence referendum, adding: 
"If all we get from the UK government is the door getting closed in our face, then I am absolutely determined that Scotland shouldn't be taken off that hard Brexit cliff edge without at least having the opportunity to choose a better future."
of course Carwyn  unlike Nicola has no cards to play . As John Dixon at Borthlas puts out.

"....Despite the Prime Minister’s statement that Carwyn Jones will have a direct line to David Davis to express his views, ‘expressing his views’ is all he will be allowed to do – and, of course, take his fair share of the blame for having been party to a process which will not deliver what he wants. Of course, if Wales were an independent country, then he really would have a veto over deals affecting us. But he doesn’t want that – he just wants to be able to stamp his feet and have an occasional tantrum. And then wonder why Wales’ voice is being ignored".

The Government "grown up approach" seems to resemble a Academic Governing Body" that allows representatives of the Student Body to attend meetings, and allow them to speak but do not alow them to put forward or amend motions, and they are crucially not allowed to vote,

Carwyn tried to puff up his position however, saying  expects the Assembly to hold votes before the triggering of the two-year exit process and also on the final deal.
When asked if votes in the devolved legislatures amounted to a veto on the process, he said: 
“Well, that’s the risk.
"Does the UK really want to go into negotiations in March with one or some of the devolved adminstrations actively criticising their position?“That doesn’t make sense. I’m not going to start on that basis.“I’m not here to try to be disruptive. I want to get to a position where we have an agreed position but we’re a long way from that yet.”

But Carwyn knows that not only did Wales vote for Brexit, he can't  threaten to seek an alternative strategy including the threat of Independence and/or Wales attempting its own deals with the EU in seeking the single market.

Even Northern Ireland despite its Unionist majority  do not want a Hard Boarder with the rest of Ireland and some may be considering the unthinkable that their future may be better served  in partnership with the rest of the Island and the European Union rather than a Hard Brexit which would cut them off from markets in the South and the rest of Europe.

Carwyn may think that pictures of him entering Number Ten, means that he will be seen as "a player",

But in reality he has no real voice, because he's not prepared make a case for Wales and back this with if not threats to the Union at least promises he will seek an alternative, to Wales' joining England  in being the first Lemmings to jump off the cliff,

Monday, 24 October 2016

Lost "Yes Prime Minister "script (A Grown up relationship).

As Prime Minister Theressa May meets the First Ministers  of the Devolved Nations  to discuss Brexir  there comes a announcement that  Ms May will push for a “new grown up relationship” between the different governments of the UK when the PM meets with them in Downing St on Monday.
Mrs May will invite First Minister Carwyn Jones and his counterparts from Scotland and Northern Ireland to help build a new industrial strategy for the UK when they come together at the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC).
Mrs May will announce measures to put the JMC on a more formal footing.
These include:
  • Guaranteeing meetings at least once every 12 months;
  • Committing to an annual report of the committee’s work and priorities; and
  • Stating that the event will be hosted by each of the four governments on a revolving basis.
Wow once a year 

According to the BBC

Ms May will be joined by Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness, as well as Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns on Monday.

Interesting,  Are the other Cabinet Secretaries,  David Mundell (Scotland) and James Brokenshire (Northern Ireland) also in attendance?

We cam assume so  otherwise it would be a statement that Carwyn, has no real say and the voice of Wales really comes from whoever the Tories (and it must be said Labour )  appoint to be Governer General  Welsh Secretary.

Of course our voice has been supposedly  weakened because unlike Northern Ireland and Scotland we voted with England for LEAVE, but  even if we had backed REMAIN, would it make any difference?

You can imagine the conversation at Number 10. with  the "Sir Humphrey" equivalent today,

PM. I suppose we will have to ask the leader of the Welsh Assembly.

Sir H: I'm afraid so Prime Minister it might make the natives a bit restless.

PM: Really I thought we had them under control or so Alun tells me.

Sir H:  Yes but there no need to to encourage them  and anyway I understand the First Minister there is nothing like  that Ms Sturgeon or the two from Northern Ireland.

PM: What's his name again>

Sir H: Um (consults notes) Carwyn Jones i understand he quite content to run what we give them and is a pretty laid back gentleman.

PM: At least its not that Woman with that accent who give poor Mr Cairns such a hard time the other day?

Sir H: Exactly and perhaps we should not rock the boat and allow Wales to believe it somehow being treated equal.

PM: Well we don't want another Ms Sturgeon after all if we are going to have "a grown up" relationship , I don't have time for another one , Perhaps we could put Mr Jones in a creche ( laughs) ?

Sir H:  Well we could let him think he's actually has a say.

PM: OK we'll let him in but let Alun know he's still in charge over the Principality.

Sir H: Yes Prime Minster.