You soon get out of things when you move on. It wasn't until I watched S4/C's programme, CF99 last night, that I was reminded of what a cunning fox is the National Assembly's Presiding Officer, Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas. To begin with, I thought he'd been to Asda and bought up the entire stock of £30 bottles of Dom Perignon that are supposed to be on offer at the moment - and that's what I call a loss leader. His Lordship treated Vaughan Roderick, a hugely talented and experienced BBC journo as if he was a 'thick' schoolboy. Because its the season of goodwill, I will describe Dafydd El's performance as 'merely self-confident'.
My immediate reaction was "He's up to no good" - or at least something he doesn't want the rest of us to know about. The basic message he wanted to enunciate (and I suspect the only reason he had graced CF99 with his presence) was that the law making process brought in by the Government of Wales Act is so simple to understand that only a real 'thicko' can't grasp it. It was so exasperating for him to have to answer the tiresome questions of the two such obvious thickos that the S4/C had seen fit to put before him. Well, Dafydd El is wrong. Its not simple to anyone who is not part of the political 'village' - and not all of those. Peter Hain clearly doesn't think that Assembly Members understand it, because he took time out of his busy timetable to go to Cardiff yesterday to explain it to them. Perhaps he thinks that they are all thickos. Basically, Peter told all 59 (better not include Dafydd El here) that they shouldn't treat MPs as if they are all interfering thickos as well.
So what is his Lordship up to? What's his agenda? And then my light came on, and the strategy came into focus - a bit like those wierd posters which are all spots until you stare at them and after a while a picture emerges. Plaid Cymru actually want a rumpus with MPs. The bigger the rumpus the better. I wonder how many chosen ones from other parties (note the plural) are in on this game. This is how it works.
If the National Assembly bang enough of these Legislative Competence Orders down the M4, its going to be impossible for the Welsh Affairs Committee to keep up (the WAC are supposed to debate these before they are formally submitted to Westminster). Already 8 or 9 LCOs have winged their way to Westminster and only 1 has been debated by the WAC - and on that occasion the Assembly Minister, Jane Hutt told the MPs to 'mind their own business'. Huge row coming up. Plaid AMs practising synthetic outrage already. Either the WAC are frustrating the will of the Welsh people by causing unreasonable delay - or the Assembly Government goes ahead without them and sends the LCOs to Westminster without WAC debate. Either way its a mega row. The current law making system turns out not to be working after all - even though its so simple that only a thicko doesn't understand it. Ergo - the only answer is a Yes vote in the referendum on whether the Assembly should be granted law making powers without any reference to MPs at all. Give the Lord another biscuit - or another glass of Dom Perignon, if there's any left. What a star he is.