.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, November 07, 2013

A forum or a talking shop?

Former Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan has told a House of Lords Constitution Committee that MPs and Assembly Members must work together to make devolution work better.

She wants a new way of exchanging information that goes 'beyond the “dispute-settling” systems already in place':

Mrs Gillan said: “I’ve always thought the Welsh Grand Committee, for example, and the Scottish Grand Committee, could be used much better... And for example there could be joint meetings between the MPs in Wales and the AMs in Wales under the auspices of something like the Welsh Grand Committee.

Well yes, but for what purpose? The dispute setting mechanisms she refers to are for Government Ministers, not for backbench and opposition parliamentarians. I am afraid that her proposed joint committee would turn out to be a talking shop with no real powers or function.

Our job is to pass legislation and scrutinise the executive. Both Parliament and the Assembly by and large have clear powers and responsibilities, which they need to get on with exercising. Unless a joint committee can add value to that then it would be a huge distraction.

The key to Mrs Gillan's proposal seems to be her aversion to us moving to a Federal system. It may be too late. We might not get the sort of Federal system that I want but we are clearly on that road and distractions like joint committees will not divert us from the route we have taken.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?