Sunday, May 20, 2007

Llandrindod, A Welsh Canberra?

On 9th June 1919 the Chairman of the local Urban District Council, Mr Jeffrey Jones, opened the Welsh Home Rule Conference in Llandrindod Wells with a promise that the council were ready to donate a site for a Welsh Parliament House. That week's conference was covered by the London papers, which is more than can be said for this week's discussions between Plaid Cymru, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats about forming a coalition government at the National Assembly. As far as the English press are concerned the remarkable possibility of Nationalists and Conservatives sharing the admittedly limited powers on offer in Cardiff might just as well be happening in Tierra del Fuego.

Another summer, another meeting in Llandrindod. Nearly 700 "leaders of Welsh political, cultural and industrial life", as the Times described them, met on the 2nd of July 1950 to launch a petition calling for Parliamentary Self-Government for Wales. Some 57 years later and of course we are still waiting for a genuine law-making Parliament in Wales, I wonder if the council still have a spare site?

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