Thursday, August 21, 2008

Round 25

Just home from leafleting and looked through the Western Mail online. And there it was. The latest round in the undignified spat twixt Alun Michael MP, former First Minister of the National Assembly for Wales and Lord Elis Thomas, Presiding Officer of said institution. Demeaning and damaging. Do you remember that recording of Joyce Grenfell, trying to keep control of schoolboys misbehaving? Personally, I support the idea of sixguns at dawn to sort it out.

At least no-one else has been silly enough to join in. All this petty squabbling only reinforces my long standing opinion that the current system of transferring powers from the Westminster Parliament to the National Assembly is a 'constitutional crisis waiting to happen'.

The basic problem is that things are unclear. I'm not at all sure of the appropriate level of scrutiny that should be undertaken by the Welsh Affairs Committee. When a Legislative Competence Order is being considered, it is not a new law, which would warrant the most detailed consideration. What it is is the power to pass a law, in a specific area of policy. This inevitably raises new questions. MPs will want to know what AMs intend to do with their new power. They may even want to think about what laws AMs could in theory pass, at some stage in the distant future. From one angle its possible to think that MPs are becoming too involved in detail. But from another angle, its possible to think that MPs should consider every possible use to which the new power could be put. There seems enough material here for Alun and Dafydd to carry on poking sticks at each other for many years to come.

6 comments:

alanindyfed said...

MPs are becoming increasing irrelevant (and increasingly embarrassing to Wales) as powers are increasingly devolved to the Assembly, which must inevitably transform into a full parliamentary body for the efficient administration of Wales.
You may in time sit as an MP in the House of Commons, but would you not be sitting in the wrong legislative building?

Anonymous said...

With these two up to their long standing vendetas and games, it is very much the Blaid leading the Blind!

Both realy are of an age to move over from their political seats and move up to the Upper House and start putting the case for Wales there now that Lord Wyn, our own Lord Emlyn etc are not as active as they were.

Anonymous said...

Alanindyfed is right here with his comments Glyn . Move on back to the Bay and join in the building of Wales along with Adam Price and co post the next election!

Glyn Davies said...

Alan - I don't agree with you. Very little law making has been devolved yet. It would be important to me that whichever institution I might be in that I try to ensure that the two work together effectively in the interesrts of Wales.

anon - I agree that they are both able men, and should try to move on from this petty personal sillyness.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I agree that eventually, the National Assembly may well become a more satisfying location for a Welsh politician, but in the meantime there is a big task to be carried out at Westminster. I'm not convinced that power transfer is going to go smoothly. And anyway, some things are not within my power to influence.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else noticed the subtle change in Glyn's responses when asked about 'issues Parliament'?

The sensible candidate feels he's in with a real shot - might be because LO is on 'light duties' post a certain cheeky business.

Vote for the sensible candidate - Montgomeryshire's PPC.