Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Hain jeopardises One Wales?

Adam Price MP comments in today's Western Mail on the latest Hain outburst.

Hain would have us believe that he has discussed postponing a referendum on further powers beyond 2011 with senior Plaid Cymru members, and that he has found agreement. I challenge him to say who he's talked to and when.

If he won't come clean, we should perhaps conclude that he is misleading people and smearing Plaid. But why? Is it because, to get the 2006 Government of Wales Act through the UK Parliament, he had to assure some of his colleagues that a referendum on further powers would not be triggered in the short term and is now being told to come up with the goods?
The One Wales Government is committed to holding a referendum "at or before the end of the Assembly term" in 2011. Hain's comments clearly contradict this. 'One Wales' was drawn up on the basis of goodwill between Plaid and Labour, and Rhodri Morgan has this week confirmed that the referendum pledge still stands. Hain is trying to keep his devo-sceptic MPs happy, but risks destabilising the Welsh government in the midst of recession.

Fortunately, what Hain says counts for little as it is the Assembly alone that decides when the referendum will be held. And his opinion is likely to count for even less after the next UK general election...


alanindyfed said...

How is it possible that people such as Peter Hain and the Kinnocks can be representative of the people of Wales?
What does this say for the state of democracy?

Sweet and Tender Hooligan said...

But that is the narrative Plaid will put forward now to hide a fact that they knew all along. That the referendum was not set in stone for 2011.

To say otherwise is a lie and deceptive. The clause in the One Wales agreement clearly stated it had to be clear that public opinion strongly chimed with support for further powers.

A few BBC polls hardly seem a significant chime so to speak. If so, perhaps Plaid can look closely at the rock bottom support for independence.

Plaid will now spin this line until the cows come home, blame Labour when it suits.

Labour are the major party in One Wales, it seems perverse they are not at liberty to reconsider policy as per new realities. Plaid seem to believe they are major players when it suits, but as soon as they break party policy on tuition fees, they are minor partners.

Government doesnt work like that.

I await any politician knocking on doors drumming up support for a technocratic debate about LCOs and more powers. The proverbial 'eff off' will surely follow, given the current expenses scandal.