Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Lib Dem Peter Black is at his hypocritical best.

Former Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black's attacks on the parties are often hypocritical and one of his latest Blogs is no different.

A lot of promises are being made in this election, some of them so wild that one wonders if anybody could possibly give them credence. The biggest obstacle faced by all parties however, is how they can operate within an asymmetric constitutional settlement, when the biggest concerns of voters, namely education and health, are no longer the responsibility of MPs in three of the countries that make up the UK.
Labour, the Liberal Democrats, even the Conservatives are having to produce different manifestos for Wales and Scotland, in which they set out how, if they are given the chance, they will spend the Barnett consequential of their UK-wide promises. In reality, only Labour in Wales (and of course the SNP in Scotland) are able to guarantee that these pledges will be met. Nevertheless. the others can at least deliver more money for the devolved governments if they win on 12th December.
But what about the remaining nationalist party, Plaid Cymru. They are only fielding candidates in Wales, so they do not even have the fall back argument that they will be able to secure extra resources for the Welsh Government by implementing new spending priorities in England. The odds of them forming part of any government is remote, and getting remoter by the day. Their only real chance of doing anything is to use this election as a dry run for the Assembly polls in 2021.
Plaid's position as a purely Welsh party operating within a devolved settlement, means that their latest promise to recruit 1,600 new police officers for Welsh communities comes across as rather absurd.
Policing is not devolved to Wales, so the nationalists do not even have the cover of seeking to influence Welsh budgets to deliver on this pledge. The odds of them being able to secure devolution of policing when they are fielding just 37 candidates out of 650, with only a handful having a realistic chance of winning, are remote. They may as well promise to annex the moon for Wales, for all the good it will do.
This pledge above the many others I have seen Plaid Cymru make, just underlines their irrelevance in this election. At an Assembly level they have the opportunity to deliver on their promises, in this election they are just talking to the hand.

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