.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Saving Dolphins

Ron Davies pursues his own independent course in this morning's Western Mail with a justified attack on Labour's Order in Council procedure and the creation of Viceroy Hain.

Ron points out that the Secretary of State for Wales will be able to use a veto to stop law-making proposals made by the Assembly, when new powers take effect next month. He gives five examples of when Mr. Hain is likely to do this:

Making St David's Day a Bank Holiday;
Extending the Children's Commissioner's remit to cover children held in custody;
Extending the Welsh Language Act into the private sector;
Cutting corporation tax;
Protecting the marine environment in Cardigan Bay

For his part Mr. Hain agrees that in these cases he would be likely to step in to block the proposals:

"Most of those are not Order in Council territory. Orders in Council would cover areas that are already devolved, in which the objective would be to give the Assembly greater policy and law-making discretion than it has now.

"There's no question of the Secretary of State vetoing requests from the Welsh Assembly Government. Obviously the Secretary of State would have to put them to Parliament and would have to get clearance through the Government to do so.

"St David's Day and corporation tax - neither of those are reserved matters. So this is not Order in Council territory. Bank holidays are Treasury matters, corporation tax is a UK-wide matter. So the Assembly wouldn't have any discretion over those areas in any case."

It could have been so very different, if only Ron Davies had had the courage of his convictions in 1998 and given us these powers in the first Government of Wales Act, which he steered through Parliament.
Does he know he's over a bloody year to late to be moaning about the procedures for granting new powers.
You can't blame Ron for the limited powers in the Act which set up the Assembly. Politics is the art of the possible. He knew that anything more radical would not have been supported by the Wales Labour party. The electoral system is a botched compromise for that reason. Without Thatcher and the support of John Smith Labour would have had a very different attitude to devolution. Blair is completely indifferent to devolution and in many areas in the 1997 referendum Labour party activists either did nothing for the 'yes' vote or actively told people to vote 'no'.
So Ron Davies has rediscovered his desire to preserve the natural environment? Some of us remember his devotion to Cardiff Bay, which vanished once he got into government.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?