Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Spanish Report 1 - Demise of the Referendum

In Spain, and I have internet access. No 1 son, Edward has been on to protest about the casual reference in my last post to the 'spare laptop' he's given me. It seems that its his best personal top-of-the-range ultra-light model, which cost north of a £1,000. Anyway, there's a connection point in our hotel room at the El Rompido Golf Resort, and I've just been catching up on what's happening back home. We've played the South Course today, and now waiting for a taxi at 9, to go out for dinner. So time for a quick post.

Most interesting story since I left on Monday morning has been the opinion poll carried out by the Institute of Welsh Politics at Aberystwyth, on behalf of the National Assembly Commission about where devolution should go from here. Its based on a survey of 2,500 people, carried out during June/July. Its results make bleak reading for those who are calling for a referendum on whether law making powers should be granted to the Assembly. It finds that 10% want an independent Wales, 39% want an Assembly with law making powers, 31% are content with the current LCO system of transferring powers to the Assembly, 15% want the whole shooting match to be abolished, and 6% do not know what they want.

I suppose the enthusiasts can say that 49% want a 'full Parliament for Wales', but its no good. It would be madness to go for a referendum on these figures. Its as dead as a dodo - before 2011 anyway. Must admit I'm losing a bit of interest in it myself. The Coalition partners have completely blown it through lack of commitment, and missed their chance. No leadership whatsoever. No inspiration. Seems to me that the better way to achieve the sort of constitutional arrangement that I want (I'd be in the 39%) is to focus on the Legislative Competence Order power transfer route, complex and unsatisfactory that it is.

And its easy to see why the Welsh people are not yet sold on the Assembly - when you're not part of the 'village' yourself. There are no inspirational people in leadershp positions - except Dafydd El, and he's sort of above the political fray. There's no Welsh 'Alex Salmond' - not that he's my cup of tea. There's not even a Welsh 'Paisley' - not my cup of tea either. Perhaps leadership and tea don't go together. Until there are individuals who learn the art of connecting with the people of Wales, the people of Wales are not going to connect with the Assembly. Anyway, its almost nine and time to change for dinner.


Anonymous said...

Your hotel might have wireless - almost certainly "No 1 son's" computer will have the wireless connect feature ... then you can saunter down to the pool area and admire the birds (pigeons) while cooing away on #1 son's ultra-light laptop.

Anonymous said...

Glyn we get it you don't really want a referendum. Did you ever? I think if anything your afraid that for all your playing to the pro devolution crowd if a referendum was called you would simply fall in line behind david davies and cameron and oppose it. Better not cross that bridge if you can avoid it until after the election eh!

Anonymous said...

Glyn- Your blog also came second in a National Poll on Welsh Political bloggs!
Results were published in an international Political magazine yesterday. Will post you a copy if needed.
Well done that man!!


Anonymous said...

No sooner you jet off to spend some well earned RR than LO resigns from the Lib-Dem front bench to concentrate on his campaign to succeed Simon Hughes as the party's president ... or maybe not; see VM's post on this very subject.

llanfyllin's finest said...

Oh dear - the Tories arch-devolutionist has "lost interest". I suppose it happens when you're more concerned with your handicap than the good people of Montgomery.

It's just as well the Yes campaign isn't relying on ANY tories to win the day.

Glyn Davies said...

anon 1 - which is exactly what I'm doing, except that its little egrets rather than pigeons.

anon - I've described a similar comment on my next post as "unjustified tosh".

Jim - Thanks.

Llanfyllin's finest - My appraoch to devolution has not changed since the early hours of the 19th Sept. 1997. If there is a referendum on granting law makng powers in devolved areas, I will be encouraging voters to vote in favour. But I no longer believe that this is going to happen. I will be delighted to eat my words, even if I'm concerned about the lack of strategy in support.