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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What are they for (Part Three)

As if to add to the confusion of what exactly they are for the All Wales Convention emerged from their first meeting yesterday and said that it was not their intention to campaign for a referendum on greater law-making powers for the Assembly. Instead they are going to talk to the people or, in the words of Sir Emyr Jones Parry, their priority is to communicate the potential the Assembly already has to make “massive” changes.

It would be possible to engage a public relations firm to carry out that task and still get substantial change from the cost of this Commission. The fact is that much of what Sir Emyr wants to do has already been achieved by the Richard Commission. The task ahead of us now is one that politicians need to fulfil, to set a date for the referendum and to go out and make a case for a 'yes' vote. If the Commission is not even going to do that then we really do need to ask why they are there?

The answer is that they exist to keep the One Wales coalition together by giving the appearance of action on devolution whilst treading water until the 2011 Assembly elections. This Commission is a political fix designed to keep both Plaid Cymru and Labour unionists happy. It is a clever move but it does not actually get the Assembly the extra powers it needs to make a difference to the lives of Welsh people.
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