Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Devolution Milestone.

I am Welsh - in every respect, and proudly so. I'm also a Conservative. I want my nation to be well governed, and will support a constitutional settlement that is stable, and incorporates the devolutionary principle that the people of Wales voted for on 18th September, 1999. Today, 53 Assembly Members voted unanimously in favour of holding a referendum to establish whether the people want to move forward as the 1998 Act envisaged. Its always a bit boring when everyone agrees on an important issue, but today was a very significant milestone.

The First Minister now has 14 days to write to the Secretary of Wales conveying to him a request from Assembly Members to hold a referendum. He has 120 days to respond to this request, setting out the legal process under which this referendum will be held - or telling us why its being refused. This responsibility could well fall to a Conservative Secretary of State, because as a result of the Assembly's Coalition Government's procrastination, 120 days takes us beyond the General Election. David Cameron has stated publicly that he will not veto this referendum - the single most important statement on this issue during the last three years.

There remains discussion about the date of this referendum. I believe it should be in October 2010. It should definitely not be held on the same date as the next Assembly Election, and in my opinion, will lead to a No vote if such a stunt was tried. Supporters of a Yes vote (such as me) would have nothing to do with such a stunt. I could live with a date as near to Dydd Dewi Sant (March 1st) as possible, but it would be better in October/November. The decision has been taken. Lets get on with it.

There will be freedom for Conservatives to campaign in accordance with their beliefs. I have always been clear that I'm in favour of the devolution of all law making powers in currently devolved policy areas. I will campaign for this, though I will not want to become a part of any official Yes campaign. I suppose the reality is that if I'm elected as an MP on May 6th, I will have a significant role in the referendum. If I lose, I suspect no-one will care what I think. Whatever, today has been a hugely important day for the people of Wales. Oh how I would have liked to have been an Assembly Member today. All I can do is run through the speech I would have made in the bath tonight, and imagine that I'm speaking in the Siambr.


Penddu said...

Better you imagine making a speech in the bath - than us imagine you making a speech in the bath....

Looking forward to your positive support.

alanindyfed said...

Don't be timorous Glyn....just add the following to your blog; you won't regret it:


Glyn Davies said...

Penddu - I accept that as fair.

Alan - No idea whay you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what you think anyway.

Anonymous said...

OK, a complete aside - but hmmmmm, how do I put this - chatter emanating from Washington, DC circles … the issue of imposing bigger sanctions against Iran now seen as largely moot. Obama is now seeing Iran as an opportunity to regain his lost prestige (vis-à-vis Obama's failed health care plan along with 'Cap and trade'). What does this mean for the world? Short answer: a limited nuclear war. Watch for the roll out of Iron Dome and Russian further cooperation in not shipping the S300 or shipping bits of the S300 or a compromised S300 system to Iran. Obama cares about Obama – that’s why Obama is turning his back on the EU – doesn’t help him at home. The November elections are but a short skip away – stemming/staunching Democratic loses are critical to Obama’s long term goals. A short-nuclear war will be a game changer - soon as Obama thinks that could help him ‘game over’. The only question will be, how many nukes, how many targets and what ratio between deep penetration, ground burst and medium altitude burst. Likely between 1:0:0 and 1:1:1, so could be just 10 deep penetration nukes or 10 of each making for around 30 nukes in total. Or could be just 30 deep penetration or 30 of each making for a total of 90 nukes with maybe another 10 to cover dudes.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - so why on earth do you visit this blog. Go read something you do care about.

Anonymous said...

correct glyn. it was an important day for wales. the bbattle starts now. we need you with us. so you better win.

Daran said...

"If I lose, I suspect no-one will care what I think."

History is against your prediction, Glyn. You lost in 2007 - and we kept reading.

alanindyfed said...

Read this!


Can Wales be far behind?

Anonymous said...

Alan - Very far behind I hope! Wales cannot survive on its own economically without a major drop in standards of living (see Iceland, Greece), or unless we are still subsidised from outside (whether that is the UK, EU or IMF). With money comes control. I would rather be part of the UK, where Wales has a bigger voice than in the EU where we have virtually none, or bailed out by the IMF where we have none at all. If Wales can live within its means (i.e. no Barnett formula top up from England for ten years straight), plus we have over five years of domestic economic growth - then I may be convinced our country is ready to spread it wings. Not before! Plaid would plunge us into being a eurozone socialist fiefdom.

As for this referendum vote, it does make sense to make the laws on which you already have devolved power, but not if this means that the grossly inefficent WAG (WAG, not the Assembly - please note) gains more powers over and above what it already has and my homeland is left in the hands of Labour and their stooges FOREVER!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Roman Jones Esq., Wales can not go it alone. Frankly, if Wales tries to go it alone c/o Plaid more Welsh families will be forced to leave Wales for the sake of their children's future. Welsh people deserve a good standard of living - we have had 10 years of WAG - what have we got for it? In the already devolved areas we have had one disaster after another.

There seems to a common-sense disconnect between the WAG and ordinary Welsh people. Take Education - there isn't a single Welsh university in the World's top 100 ranked universities (Scotland has three of its universities in the world's top 100), the patent filing rate remains pathetic. It is not because of a shortage of money (even though WAG would like to suggest that this is the reason). WAG is in control of the HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales) - so WAG has "spending power" - yet is this used to push Welsh universities to protect Welsh IP? Obviously not as evidenced by the appalling patent filing rates It is not like WAG has to do a lot to reverse this trend - I've come up with a plan to do that, it is before the WAG. They will sit on it, or give it to someone else or agency to sit on. That's how things are in the WAG - there is still a lethargy and stubbornness that is hard to fathom - and people want to give the WAG even more powers?

The attitude among Welsh politicians that things are so so is found elsewhere in the Labour Party as evidenced by Peter Hain's recent comments that "... Wales is indeed still a wealthy country".

But as Shadow Wales minister David Jones pointed out:

“Given that figures recently published show that economic inactivity in Wales is worse than in any other part of the UK; that three Welsh local authority areas are among the five poorest in the country; and that Wales has the highest rate of severe child poverty of all the home nations; what did you have in mind when you boasted last week that Wales is still a wealthy country? Complacent or what?”

Wales is going down the tubes - and WAG is driving Wales in that direction as surely as rain falls to earth due to gravity.

I'm in despair - there are so many things and solutions that the Labour/Plaid Cymru led WAG can do to reverse the downward trends - but with a mixture of complacency and disconnect the WAG remains set on a course of doing very little, doing it too late, with ears covered, and if a good idea happens to be put in front of the WAG - it will be ignored or side-stepped or parked.

Welsh Labour is the ruin of Wales with Plaid bringing up the rear.

I don't know if the Welsh Conservatives will finally bring common-sense to the workings of the WAG - so far I'm not that impressed - they don't seem to have an economic plan to get Wales working again and the recent elitism noise emanating from David Cameron doesn't exactly give this Welshman much comfort. I hope it was a miss-step, but it seems to be a rush for power for power sake - that is something Wales does not need.

Welsh people need solutions, and we need to act on solutions to rebuild the Welsh economy, to put Welsh people back to work in good private sector jobs, to reverse the domination of the Welsh public sector, to get Welsh innovation into top gear.

It won't cost a lot of money - it just needs a functioning efficient WAG willing to act on good ideas - not dogma or nepotism as evidenced by recent WAG appointments jobs for the boys/girls culture - this has created an inefficient WAG more concerned with feathering its own nest than applying solutions to fix the Welsh economy.