Saturday, June 27, 2009

Being 'Right on Devolution'.

Just browsing the net to catch up with today's news. A report that David Cameron has told the BBC that "The Tories were wrong on devolution" caught my attention. Although the Conservative leader is reported as referring to Scotland when making this comment, it gives me encouragement to hope that my opinion will win Cameron's support. I reckon that the Conservative Party should not just allow a referendum on moving to Part Four of the Government of Wales Act (grant full law making powers to the National Assembly for Wales) but should actually promote it. No need to point out that some of my Conservative colleagues will not be falling over themselves to agree with me! Not yet anyway! What the comments that David Cameron is reported to have said certainly do is tell me is that he's willing to be open minded about this issue. I'd like ten minutes on my own with him to make the case.

Regular readers will know that I think there's a real risk that any referendum on law making powers will be lost (despite what the polls say) - which is why I've long thought that Ieuan Wyn Jones will announce that the report of the Sir Emyr Jones Parry is not positive enough to go for it (no matter what the report actually says). But what about if a new Conservative Government decided to hold a referendum without being asked by the Assembly to do so. Not sure whether this can happen - but don't see why not. Anyway, lets imagine it can. On the one hand, the people of Wales might say yes, especially if I win Montgomeryshire and set about organising a strong 'Conservatives Say Yes' campaign. And if it were to lose, the other parties couldn't keep on sniping at us for not holding a referendum - which they will do ad nauseum if they thought there would be any reluctance on the part of David Cameron to agree to it. Seems to me there could be a fox to be shot here. Just speculating. But today's BBC report does make the future look a tad interesting.


Anonymous said...

Scotland is a different case Glyn, your party isn't likely to win the popular vote or large numbers of seats north of the Border at the General Election as its looks set to in Wales, the article is good PR, plus a lot of what we here from David Cameron on Devolution is him trying to find a way of dealing with the SNP Government without strengthening Alex Salmond's position.

Here in Wales i would say nothing major will happen on devolution if we have a Tories Government, those in favour of more powers have missed the boat, Sir Emyr being a good diplomat will fudge the issue in his report giving a big boost to those who don't want any further powers such as the Shadow Secretary of State Cheryl Gillan and shadow Ministers like David Jones who will be in the Wales Office and use it at any opportunity to stall the referendum and any further bids for powers for the Assembly, the LCO's are headed for an even slower path if that's possible.

Yours may well be a lonley voice among your new Welsh Tory MP's colleagues after the Election Glyn and i wish you luck.

alanindyfed said...

Good to know that you, at least, are in the vanguard of progress for Wales (on the matter of devolution) and hope that your opinion is heeded by the higher echelons of your party.
You can't let Labour have all the credit for introducing devolution in the British Isles.
After all it is the only sensible way to deal with the constitution and it should go the whole way, provided there is no more Hain in the lane to bring about more pain.

alanindyfed said...

There's only one recourse for Glyn if he does end up being the lone voice crying in the wilderness.....and that is to throw in his lot with Plaid Cymru.
That would wake up the voters of Montgomery! ;-)

Glyn Davies said...

Change of Personnel - I think you are wrong to dismiss David Cameron's comment as just PR - if that is what you are doing. I accept that others in my party may take a different view from me, but I do not think mine will be a lonely voice. I have not discussed the issue with Cheryl Gillan or David Jones, so I do not know what is their opinion - but we all know that we can establish a party policy position only after discussion.

Alan - My opinion has been, and remains that powers cannot be part devolved, without creating long term constitutional conflict. I believe the logic of this leads to either abolition of the Assembly, or full law making powers in those policy areas devolved - and the former is just not going to happen. And I've been bothered about being a lone voice. Doesn't mean that you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

"The United Kingdom is in danger of disintegration and should embrace a federal structure of government and create individual parliaments in each nation, Conservative AM David Melding declares in a major book published today. He envisages a new constitutional settlement which could cut the number of MPs at Westminster to 300 and officially recognise the sovereignty over domestic issues of the parliaments of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland."

alanindyfed said...

The Conservatives are getting there, with a gentle nudge from our blogger from Rural Wales and Yours Truly!