You have to admire him. The great Machiavellian Lord of Meirionydd that is. Whenever he feels a bit bored, he just puts a call into the BBC, tells them he wants to say something significant - and 'Bob's your Uncle' he's starring on the Politics Show. Despite his 'significant something' being no more than a re-hash of what he's said before - and blatant propaganda for Plaid Cymru, his own political party, during the run up to an Assembly election. Lord Elis Thomas plays the BBC as if it's his own personal Stradivarius. Mind you, I can't complain, because it nets me a 'slot' on Post Cynta tomorrow morning to comment on his comments. That's the way it works - like a circular firing squad.
Lets consider what his Lordship told the viewers he wants. Seems he thinks an appropriate response to this week's Yes vote is to abolish the Wales Office, including any ministers at Westminster responsible for Wales. Since he's a member of a political party that wants an 'independent' Wales, this should come as no surprise to anyone. This will happen if and when a majority of the Welsh people support it. But personally, I think it would be most unwise to set aside Welsh interests in favour of a political agenda, which around 15% of the Welsh people support. I see the Wales Office as the 'Voice of Wales at Westminster and the voice of Westminster in Wales'. Scrapping the Wales Office would be more self-destructive than when the WRU sacked Mike Ruddock.
None of the above either surprised or bothered me. But two of his 'opinions' did. Firstly, he gave credit for the announcement about the electrification of the Great Western Line into Cardiff, and the reduction in train journey time to Swansea to everyone except the Secretary of State for Wales. And the second irritating comment was that the Secretary of State delivered this week's referendum because she had "no choice". On both issues he was just plain wrong. On the second issue, let's look at the facts. It was AMs who left the decision to ask for the referendum until so late in the political cycle that it took a mighty commitment by Cheryl Gillan to deliver it before May 2011. So little preparation work was done on the referendum before the General Election, that only by total focus on the subject was the incoming Conservative-run Wales Office managed to pull it off in time. And in passing, was it not Lord Elis Thomas himself who at one stage wanted the referendum delayed until after May 2011 anyway! I was never sure that he actually wanted one.
I've just about heard enough unjustified Labour driven propaganda about the Wales Office not delivering for Wales. How many more times are we going to hear that the Severn Barrage was 'cancelled'. It was never going to happen. All that the previous Labour Government achieved was to 'blow' mega millions on an impossible dream. They did quite a lot of that sort of thing. And Cheryl Gillan did deliver electrification into Cardiff - which in my opinion no-one else would have done. And she delivered an Assembly powers referendum to a timetable that no-one else would have done. Actually, I never really get cross about these things. There's always the comforting thought that the people are not daft.