Thursday, 26 April 2018

Welsh Government capitulation met with derision in Scotland.

  Yesterdays reaction from Plaid Leader Leanne Wood to the Welsh Government capitulation in handing powers back to Westminster after Brexit, saw what  I think was her finest moment in the Siambr.

 However it was nothing to bitterness coming from Scotland with The National saying

SO is Scotland isolated now that Wales has accepted a Brexit deal with Theresa May? Maybe. But we are where we always are within the Celtic sisterhood – leading from the front for a proper not a patsy agreement about the division of powers post Brexit. And since the powers and divvy up are vital for the proper functioning of the Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast parliaments, you could say the Scottish Government is fighting for the future of devolution. Ironic, eh?
Wales’ Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford says the deal his government has signed means powers in areas “currently devolved remain devolved”. That’s grand. But unless Cardiff has a guarantee Edinburgh’s not yet seen, the crucial little word “consent” is missing and the deal they’ve agreed with Westminster means Theresa May can dabble in Welsh affairs for the next seven years.
READ MORE: 'Wales capitulated to the Tories on Withdrawal Bill'
Now that’s a scary enough prospect – but there’s a worse one. Theresa could soon be elbowed out of the way by Boris or the Barking Rees-Mogg. Imagine how much time either of them would lavish on areas of shared responsibility with Edinburgh.
Anyway, the Welsh Government will now repeal the Continuity Bill, leaving the Scottish Government to stand alone defending its own version before the judges of the UK Supreme Court, probably in June. Plans are for a Joint Ministerial Committee in London next week where Mike Russell will propose another compromise, but Whitehall sources say their current offer is now final, since further change would only jeopardise the deal just struck with Cardiff.
So what is occurring in Wales?
With no offence to our Welsh cousins, their constitutional clout and their enthusiasm for home rule have never hit the same levels as the Scots. The referendum that established their Assembly in 1997 was won by just 0.6 per cent – and from the start the Welsh didn’t have the tax-raising powers won by the Scots.

Indeed, arguably Wales only got devolution because the Scots pushed for it. Today, despite every conceivable wheel falling off the cart at Westminster, Plaid Cymru has only recently started to advocate independence – for many years they’ve settled for greater devolved powers. That’s because the size of the Welsh population and its close integration with England poses big practical problems.
The Welsh Assembly presided over a Leave vote in Wales – the only one of the devolved nations or regions (including London) not to vote Remain. That’s testimony to the way in which Welsh politics and society still shadows England. According to Daniel Evans of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research:

“Hardly any of the people we speak to in our research know anything about the EU dividend to Wales or the implications of Brexit for Wales.
“Instead they focus primarily on British issues such as immigration. This reflects the diet of media in Wales, which is the same as England. Scotland of course has its own media, a left-wing party in charge, and revived engagement in politics since the independence referendum.”

And there’s a final point. The man who made the deal with David Davis, Mark Drakeford, has just announced his intention to stand for the job of Welsh Labour leader, days after the veteran Labour leader Carwyn Jones (the architect of the defiant Continuity Bill strategy) said he was going to quit. Drakeford is a man with a mission – to make headlines in Wales. He’s done that – but he may soon regret not taking a tougher stand and a longer view.
The conclusion from The National is will be hard for many to read.

So Wales basically lacks the smeddum, history and democratic mandate to stand up to London. Maybe that explains their decision to take an early bath.
Unionist-dominated Northern Ireland has also pulled its punches in arguments with Westminster, and whilst the current First Minister Arlene Foster looks well capable of flattening any louche London Tory that gets in her way, she’s somewhat constrained by being a Brexiteer herself as well as the woman who sold her party’s soul for £1 billion investment in the province.
 It is up to us to prove The National wrong and we have a limited tome to do it. 

Brexit has empowered Unionism and you can feel that even Remainers in the Unionist Parties here rather than see it has an opportunity to  stand up for Wales see it as the chance to end devolution and see us devolved into England.

Why else did our Third Rate Minister and his likely successor capitulate in the manner in the manner they did apparently with concessions.

They have turned Wales into a laughing stock  among our contemporaries  outside Wales.

As our friends in Catalonia are being abused by the Spanish Police for carrying Yellow Flags the only flag Welsh Labour wave is a White one,


East Neuker said...

Westminster is planning to remove and destroy devolution altogether, and the Welsh Governmarnt have just given them a huge helping hand. Stormont is gone, Cardiff is next, then all the deep state guns will be trained on Scotland. I fear that they will succeed. Thanks, Welsh Labour, you spineless bunch of sell-outs.

Leigh Richards said...

Agreed leanne was at her passionate best and put to shame the Internet trolls in wales who seem intent upon constantly trying to undermine her. But one correction to the National piece - Plaid has been campaigning for an Indy wales for decades.

Alan said...

There's a very nuanced possibility that both devolved governments are actually still working together. That some kind of joint strategy has the Scottish gov't fighting for as many powers as possible whilst the Welsh gov't is providing insurance by accepting what has been agreed. If the SG can obtain further concessions, WG ministers have already indicated they would seek to catch up if applicable.

In effect, whatever Westminster has agreed with Wales is now a backstop rather than the end-game. That backstop being in place is slightly better than not having it - and if both devolved governments had refused to compromise, it might have resulted in the Tories retracting even more powers.

Insurance might be boring and sometimes inadequate. But after an accident, you take whatever it gives you.

glynbeddau said...

I doubt very much if this is the case. Indeed the Welsh Government reluctance to seek something like parity with Scotland over the years indicate that they have no real desire to administer these powers.