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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Curry in Bosnia?

The BBC reveal that curry-King and Chair of the All-Wales Convention on further Assembly powers, Sir Emyr Jones Parry has been lined up to up-sticks and head off to Bosnia in the former Paddy Ashdown role of EU Special Representative.

He is one of several candidates for the job, with EU foreign ministers hoping to agree on their nomination at a meeting on 23 February. His candidacy brings into doubt the future of the key Convention, that was brokered by Labour and Plaid negotiators so as to avoid making any divisive commitment to anything meaningful on the powers of the Assembly.

The promise to deliver a referendum before 2011 is dependent on the successful conclusion of this Convention, which to everybody else is just an expensive talking shop. It is costing £1 million at a time when key education and social care budgets are being cut all over Wales and when most of its work had been done by the Richard Commission before it.

Furthermore, Mr. Jones Parry was the personal choice of First Minister, Rhodri Morgan and his loss will be a huge personal blow both to the integrity of the One Wales agreement and to the First Minister himself.

On a BBC programme earlier today one Labour AM suggested that perhaps Mr. Jones Parry could do both jobs simultaneously, rather like Dean Saunders combines the role of manager of Wrexham Football Club with his role with the Wales football team. However, Bosnia is substantially further away from Wales than Cardiff is from Wrexham and this does not appear a practical alternative.

Comments on Betsan Powys' blog on this issue are instructive with Stonemason seeming to sum up the mood: 'Diplomats generally know when to withdraw, and Sir Emyr Jones Parry is a man who can recognise a duck dead in the water.' We await developments with interest.
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