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Saturday, December 22, 2007

More on LCOs

The Welsh Affairs Committee has finally got around to publishing a report on one of the Assembly Government's bids for extra powers. It is about time. At this rate the referendum will be upon us before we get the chance to exercise any primary law-making powers at all.

I may be repeating myself but I felt that there was more than a little bit of control-freakery in the comments of MPs on the process itself. According to the media the Committee criticised the Assembly Government for publishing its requests for extra power too quickly. They say that this has made it impossible to hold the joint scrutiny sessions of AMs and MPs that was envisaged when the system was set up. Joint scrutiny is apparently seen as a key part of tieing MPs sceptical of devolution into the process.

I would say in response to them that we cannot have our timetable dictated by Westminster. The whole point of this process is to empower the Welsh legislature so as to enable it to deliver better laws for the people of Wales. If MPs cannot keep up then they need to overhaul their own procedures so as to allow them the input they desire.
I want Wales to have more powers, but after eight years of WAG Wales is going backwards on at least two fronts: education and the economy. OECD stats (re: education) and GVA data. I am not sure if this is a party specific issue - a wider WAG institutional problem?
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