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. 

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