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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Not fit for purpose

Just under two weeks ago Miss Wagstaff tagged me in a meme to name the most monumental waste of £200,000 public money. There was just so much to choose from. However, a current news story has prompted me to make a choice even though the amount of money being wasted is well in excess of the nominated amount.

The BBC is reporting today
that MPs are calling for a cut in the number of bids by AMs and the Welsh Assembly Government for more powers. The Welsh affairs select committee say that the eleven proposed legislative competence orders (LCOs) risk swamping the system, when they expected only four or five. They want a smaller number of high quality bids, believing that too many bids could bring the process into disrepute.

In many ways they are fortunate, after six months before the last May 2007 elections the Presiding Officer was predicting that the Welsh Assembly would put forward 18 pieces of legislation in its first year. That we have not done so is down to a number of factors, but chief amongst them is the over-cautiousness of the Labour- Plaid Cymru Ministers, in which even nationalist ministers have been reluctant to seek all the powers they might for fear of upsetting the apple-cart, and the control freakery of government whips in vetoing private members legislation at the earliest possible stage.

All of this fuss however just avoids the main point that the process of the Assembly asking for specific powers through a legislative competence order is not fit for purpose and is an enormous waste of time and money.

The idea that an elected Parliamentary body needs to ask permission before passing laws affecting devolved subject matters is enormously patronising. To then apply a process of dual scrutiny allied to the ritual humiliation of Welsh government ministers in front of MPs adds insult to injury. This is wasteful duplication. It is a protracted and pointless scrutiny process put in place to rein in Wales' ambitions, and to let us know who is boss. What is more it costs hundreds of thousands of pounds each year and yet at the end of that process we do not even get a law, we get permission to legislate.

Despite all of this we now have MPs whinging and whining about their workload. Apparently, our aspirations are getting in the way of their protracted world tour. They have spent 18 months looking into globalisation, an enquiry that has involved them visiting Spain, China, the Czech Republic and Poland so far. Nice work if you can get it.

Well I am happy for them to prioritise their important work. All they have to do is to give the Assembly the same powers as Scotland and we can then get on with our job whilst they get on with their's.
The idea that an elected Parliamentary body needs to ask permission before passing laws affecting devolved subject matters is enormously patronising.

Sovereignty rests with Parliament, who therefore have the right to delegate powers to another body, e.g the Assembly, or not as they see fit. Surely you understood this when you sought election to the Assembly?
I am fully aware of the constitutional position however my point is that if devolution had been implemented properly then we would not be in that place. The whole Government of Wales Act 2006 was enormously patronising.
Is it true that the WAG asks for reports on such and such issue/subject (e.g., on a private sector issue) and despite the hard work and dedication of the people who do the research and prepare balanced reports which are then largely ignore - perhaps because the issue is no longer a hot-button one. In which case I suppose this is one way of pushing a hot-button issue into a railway siding. If so, why bother paying salaries and using up time to produce reports that are going to be ignored - ask for a pre-research report with a page limitation (say 5 pages) to be presented at some future date then use the money that would otherwise be spent on producting the full length report by paying WAG Civil Servants an even bigger bonus payout for saving trees that would otherwise be chopped down. But then the Civil Servants can go out and buy a bigger car or take more foreign holidays thus pushing up their CO2 output ...
Nice to see our AM going off on Foreign Jollies all in the name of research.... what a bunch of snout in the trough tossers we have got in the assembly.

As regards not having the bottle to pass legislation, can one expect anything else from Plaid Cymru, we all know that Labour is run from Westminster, so Labour AMs aren't going to rock the boat, but by the very fact that Plaid cowtow and tow the labour party line is way way beyond contempt for the electorate who voted for them, bit like Saunders Lewis cowtowing to Adolf Hitler.
"sovereignty rests with the westminister parliament"? i thought it is in fact with brussells now? At least that is what right wing tories keep telling us!

Also didnt lloyd george and numerous members of the british ruling class like the duke of windsor and lord halifax 'cowtow' to hitler?

While I'm not too sure of Lord Halifax's political stance, except unconditional surrender in the spring of 1940 when the BEF were on the beech and Dunkirk, but both the Duke of Windsor & Saunders Lewis were well known fascists, true towards the end of his life, DLG did loose his way. At least DLG didn't commit treason by causing an explosion on an RAF base.

The house of Windsor is well known for its fascist leanings, number three in line for the throne has been photographed by a red top tabloid in Nazi Uniform, the Duke of Windsor was a well known fascist and Prince Phillip’s sisters all married former members of the Nazi Party, hence no wedding invites!

Plaid Cymru always go on that they are a Nationalist Party; Nationalism always leaves a bitter taste in the mouth as far as I’m concerned one should always remember the genocide in the name of nationalism that occurred in the Balkans in the early 1990’s. When a Nationalist Party like Plaid Cymru start saying they are Socialists, “National Socialism” is the phrase that springs immediately to mind.

Quite interestingly, I noticed that a Painter and Decorator from Ceredigion has been fined £30 for smoking in his own van, our civil liberties are going down the pan!!! We are in the process of having ID cards thrust upon us, in addition to having detention without charge for 42 days; no other country in the Western world has a detention without trail for anything near 42 days. We have British citizens being held prisoner in a foreign land across the Atlantic by our government. Our country is becoming very much like 1930s Germany, for the majority of the citizens of 1930s Germany life was good, Keynesian economic policy was working by building more roads and improving infrastructure, but the small minorities like the Semites, in the form of the Jews were discriminated against, like the Semites in the form of Muslims are being discriminated against in our society, the red tops are full of anti-muslim propaganda.

The UK is becoming like 1930s Germany, and it's not just me who is saying that!
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