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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Clear water

It seems that it is not just Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats who are having problems educating their MPs on the realities of devolution. We have always known that many Conservative MPs have had some difficulty in accepting the Welsh Assembly and in many cases they have carried on as if it did not exist. Now Nick Bourne, the Welsh Conservative's Assembly Leader, has fired a shot across their bows.

As the Western Mail puts it: 'He has finally cracked under the strain of trying to explain the basics of GCSE devolution to his Westminster colleagues. Welsh Conservative Assembly leader Nick Bourne is to publicly complain about the failure of his Westminster colleagues to know, much less care, about the devolution dividend.

Six years of devolved government in Wales and Scotland has fuelled Tory demands for an English Parliament, but has done little to ensure the Westminster parliamentary party understands the complexities of the UK power split.

Still the Conservatives are not alone in this.

Some Westminster hacks display the shakiest understanding of devolution, while the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, told a Welsh journalist he could not comment on events in Blaenau Gwent because he was a "national politician."'

I hope that Lembit Opik, Elfyn Llwyd, Peter Hain and the rest are taking notes.
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