Two silly National Assembly stories in the Western Mail today. The first concerns the soon-to-be ennobled Dafydd Wigley contemplating the end of the Labour-Plaid Coalition Government. No chance - and what a disaster for Wales if it did collapse. Well, not until Rhodri Morgan retires as First Minister and accepts the Welsh Rugby Union's invitation to take over from the sacked Warren Gatland in 18 months time when he's uncerimoniously 'booted out' at the post match dinner after Wales lose in a friendly to the Lebanon. Much as I desire the Rainbow's return, I do not see it coming into vision for at least 18 months. Plaid Cymru have made their bed - now they must lie in it. Dafydd bemoans the inadaquacy of Treasury funding, and claims that a central commitment of the One Wales Agreement was a review of Assembly funding via the Barnett Formula. He knows, and knew before climbing into bed with Labour, that even if the National Assembly review Barnett til the cows come home, there is no requirement on the Westminster Government to take the slightest notice. In fact, as Tomos Livingstone points out in his 'Opinion' column in the same paper, any review could produce less funding for Wales. So my advice Dafydd is "just cuddle up to them and do your best to squeeze some pleasure out of the experience".
And on the same page, in David Williamson's article, Plaid AM, Helen Mary Jones is bemoaning the difficulties that AMs are having in providing proper scrutiny of Ministers. This is supposed to be justification for increasing the number of AMs from 60 to 80. Well, I'm sorry Helen Mary, but all I can say is that if you tried scrutinising your own Government's spending programmes a bit more, instead of appearing on TV to say how fabulously well the Government is delivering on its promises, this comment would carry more credibility!! I, too believe that when full law making powers are granted to the Assembly - sometime after the referendum on May 5th 2011, there will be a need for 80 AMs - but its a total waste of print to be writing about it now. The people of Wales would just not wear it - and quite right too.