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Sunday, December 30, 2007


Matt Withers notes that Gordon Brown has some very profound things to say in his New Year message about devolution:

In 2008, with firm conviction and resolve, we will make the case for the United Kingdom - standing up for the cause of the Union and against secession, showing people in all parts of the country that for so many of the challenges our country faces - from climate change to terrorism - there are no Wales-only, Scotland-only or England-only solutions.

Matt believes that this bodes ill for the success or otherwise of the Convention being set up to consider the case for more powers for the Welsh Assembly. He could be right but surely it demonstrates a more basic shortcoming on the part of the British Prime Minister, a complete lack of understanding about devolution.

The whole point of the two Government of Wales Acts proposed by a Labour Government containing Gordon Brown is that we can formulate Wales-only solutions. Has Gordon changed his mind? Maybe Rhodri Morgan has the answer.
Brown is trying to play down devolution because of the pressure Cameron is exerting for English votes for English matters. Any solution that leads to an England only scenario would condemn England to perpetual Tory government as the most cursory analysis of the statistical history will show. He will therefore continue to fudge it.

Not sure what the answer is. Devolution delivers left of centre government for the celts and Tory government for the Saxons. Unless we take the view that is that what the majority of England wants then that would it should have......
Brown has actually revealed quite a lot with a seemingly vague answer. What he means is that voters in England will be happy to have a slightly higher cost of living in return for water and energy from Wales and oil from Scotland.
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