Another day, another row over National Assembly powers. It does seem as if Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas and Alun Michael MP really do detest each other. Throughout the period when Alun was First Minister of the National Assembly, we all knew there was a lack of warmth twixt the two. I was only six feet away when this coolness descended into the icepit from which it may never have escaped. When Alun tendered his resignation 8 years ago by handing an envelope to Dafydd in the Presiding Officer's Chair with a great flourish, the PO refused to accept it, simply setting it aside without opening it. Alun's little stunt was designed to preempt a 'No Confidence' vote in his leadership, but Dafydd was having none of it. The letter remained unopened, the vote went ahead, Alun was removed from office, and my guess is that the two have not passed a civil word since.
Back to today's row. Lord Elis Thomas went public on his opinion that MPs are out of order to complain about the workload that the Legislative Competence Order system is in danger of putting on them. I do not know why he did this. But Alun Michael thinks he knows. He told the BBC that he thinks Dafydd is trying to portray the present system as unworkable, so that Plaid Cymru can demand a referendum on full law making powers. In my opinion, it would have been better if both of them had said nothing.
Actually, Alun Michael is talking complete tosh on this point. My guess is that his Lordship does not want a referendum any time soon - not that he'd admit it. It would be far too risky. I think that Dafydd went public because he just can't help putting on a show. If he's not involved in some controversy for two weeks in a row, I reckon he sits down with a glass of the finest wine and ponders how he can put right the discrepancy.
Personally, I just despair about this sort of public spat. The current Government of Wales Act is such a complex nonsense that its a threat to our constitution - "a constitutional crisis waiting to happen" is my usual phrase. Now who was it who said that "a period of silence would be welcome".