Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A long and winding road.

Yesterdays statement by Carwyn Jones, on the Welsh Labour  Government  submission to the Silk Commission, which is looking at the scope of the Welsh Assembly's remit, says devolution needed to be "enhanced and restructured" and .powers over policing to be devolved to Wales.and a hope that eventually criminal justice should be devolved  is a bit like a hard working firms employers offered a future bonus rather than an immediate pay rise.
Mr Jones said: "Decisions that affect Wales should be taken in Wales.
The first minister emphasised that policing and criminal justice are now "the only mainstream public services which are not devolved to Wales", and that this status quo "is becoming increasingly hard to justify."
Powers over criminal justice would include the courts prisons and probation, as well as the establishment of a separate Welsh legal jurisdiction. As part of the preparations for this, Mr Jones called for the appointment of a Welsh member of the Supreme Court.
He also called for a new Government of Wales Act "in order to strengthen accountability, and reduce the scope for conflict between the Welsh and UK Governments."
This call for a reassessment of the scope of devolution comes less than two years since a referendum on the assembly's powers was held.
So will we see Labour putting devolving to Wales in its UK General Election Manifesto? Will it include  cotrol over all laws relating to water matters within the geographical boundary of  Wales.as Carwyn seems to want 
Will Criminal Justice be in this mix.
How much may well  depends on the Silk Commission's recommendation?
If it does recommend these and they are not in the major parties manifestos whats would have been the point of it?
What is the point anyway?. Why can't  the Welsh Government argue the case and take it to the Welsh People instead of an unelected commission.?
And why separate devolution of Policing powers and Criminal Justice.
Would this lead to a Welsh Minister in charge of policing order them to carry out duties to which his government are opposed?
Carwyn's call makes headlines and make him and his party appear to be committed devolutionist .
Bur with the claim that these powers should be in place by 2020 (i.e. the end of the term of the next government),
Its a long road and Wales needs to seek these powers now.
Even if the Scottish referendum in Scotland fails . Ther will be some form of devo-max and as Wales take a small step through policing powers Scotland will move further ahead.
Although my preferment is for Independence sooner than later. We need those parties who claim to be in favour of devolution to push for parity with Scotland now.

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