Friday, January 28, 2011

Agony Aunt

W.G. of Llanyre writes:

A friend of mine was recently reading a post from Llandod blogger and former Lib Dem councillor David Peter. Ever since she has been fretting about the upcoming referendum on more powers for the Welsh Assembly. Is there anything I can do to set her mind at rest?

Radnorian replies:

Dear W.G. tell your friend not to worry. Although Mr Peter needs "to be convinced that more powers for the Assembly is not merely a milestone on the way to full independence for Wales" the referendum is just about more powers for the Assembly. It could equally be a milestone on the way to the fully federal Britain that the poster advocates. The present vote has nothing at all to do with full independence. Unionists should remember that they were responsible for breaking up the original United Kingdom by continually standing in the way of devolution for Ireland.

Mr Peter also worries that the Assembly has no revising chamber. Well tell your friend that many countries get along fine with a single chamber legislature - New Zealand, Sweden, Finland and Norway for example. Also all the Australian, Canadian and German federal states.

Mr Peter does have a point when he complains about East Wales not having much influence within the current Welsh Assembly Government. No doubt this wouldn't have been the case if the Lib Dems hadn't pulled the plug on the proposed Rainbow coalition. Perhaps local voters should cast their ballot for parties who want to participate in government rather than putting their own internal party bickering before the interests of the people of Powys.


Rob said...

Couple of points.

There will not be 'more powers' just a different and more efficient way of arranging existing powers.

And the Lib Dems scuppered the rainbow coalition because many prominent members (our own Kirsty amongst them) couldn't stomach the thought of being the people who put the Tories into government in Wales. And a good job too.

old radnor said...

I'm sure that the thought of ousting Mike German was a far more exciting prospect than any fantasy about not being able to stomach co-operating with Tory "vermin."

How many of these prominent members have quit the party since Cameron and Clegg got together?

Plwm said...

Mr S.P. of Builth Wells writes " My friend is more concerned that our elected members have not proved they are capable of managing new or wider powers. What do I say in reassurance?"

old radnor said...

Hi S.P.

"Have any elected politicians anywhere shown much competence over the last few years? In particular the Westminster variety. At the same time Democracy still remains a better option than any of the alternatives.

Your friend may think of course that the Welsh are uniquely incapable of managing their own affairs, in which case get some new friends."

BTW is the Builth curfew still in operation and are the demonstrators still occupying Bank Square? Are helicopters at this very moment lifting off from the Gro filled with escaping fatcats?

Anonymous said...

One good thing the Assembly has done is not to get involved in PFI. These one-sided contracts are going to cost the English billions over the coming years, often for white elephant projects. No doubt they'll expect the Welsh tax payer to help bail them out though.

Plwm said...

Thank you O R, very reassuring. Helicopters are grounded but, after a visit to Ross on Wye Rowing Club today, I'm hopeful that a flotilla of small craft are making their way upriver. A small consideration will see staff of the Radnorshire Embassy at the front of the queue.

old radnor said...

Ross-on-Wye Rowing Club? There's posh.