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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Necessary evils?

I was quite amused by a letter in this morning's Western Mail in which a correspondent lamented the current trends in opinion polls that indicate that a 'yes' vote is likely in any referendum to enable the Assembly to dismantle the Legislative Competence Order system and utilise its full powers under the Government of Wales Act 2006:

Doubtless, the All Wales Convention, encouraged by these results, will continue to conduct similar surveys in the months ahead in an effort to convince the people of Wales that they have fully embraced the notion of a full law-making Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

Under such pressures, devo-sceptics will need to learn to live in uneasy co-existence with the pro-devolutionists in the same way as one has learned to adapt to the presence of offending leylandii trees or invasive wind turbines – they are there, but one would wish they would go away.

hmm...someone should point out to the author of this letter that this is called 'democracy'!!

A novel concept to some in the anti-devolution camp i know, many of whom still even 12 years on seem unable to accept the fact that they lost in '97 and are set to lose again 2011!

If only the powers specified in the GOWA2006 did what this correspondent feared. The Town and Country Planning area has already been sabotaged by Labour's new Planning Act, which will turn planning gain from an agreement into a tax. In order for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to be kicked out of Wales, control of taxation policy will have to be added to the schedule of powers. And if that control is anything less than full, the temptation will be for irresponsible Treasury civil servants in Whitehall to attempt to double tax Wales.

By the time of the referendum, the institutionalized devo-sceptics in London will have had a five-year head start at sabotaging devolution. Although the referendum has to be won, it will not result in the longed-for settlement.
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