Monday, April 05, 2010

No Referendum in 2010?

It seems that the Secretary of State, Peter Hain may have succeeded in delaying the referendum on transferring all law making powers in devolved policy areas from the Westminster Government to the National Assembly until March 2011. Personally, I believe this to be a mistake, which will make a 'Yes' vote less likely. But then, we know that Mr Hain does not want there to be a referendum at all before the next Assembly election, to be held in May 2011.

The 'right' date would be October - well before the Assembly election in May 2011. Anyone campaigning in a referendum in March is going to have an eye on the Welsh General Election two months later. But it looks as if its not to be. For an October referendum to happen, the enabling legislation must be sorted out before the Summer recess - and for that to happen, the question to be put needed to settled before the General Election. And Peter Hain has refused to deal with it. The request forwarded to him (eventually) from the Assembly First Minister is still lying on his desk. I'm sure Nick Bourne and Cheryl Gillan will tell us that its gathering dust. Its unthinkable that Plaid Cymru and Labour AMs are not party to this. They are playing a very dangerous game.

Not sure what all the Plaid supporting bloggers think of this. They'll probably find some hook on which to hang their usual 'Blame the Tories' rhetoric. But it won't wash. This is down to one man - Peter Hain. It really is time that he was given a role on Labour's opposition backbenches - well away from anything to do with Wales.

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