Saturday, 5 March 2011

Law making for Wales

So people in Wales have voted for the Welsh Assembly to have law making powers under Part 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 similar to those of the Scottish Parliament, and the UK follows its rudderless voyage to ever greater fragmentation.

With Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland now with their own parliaments, it probably makes it impossible for there to be another Welsh or Scottish Prime Minister until the position of England is dealt with (there has never been a Prime Minister from Northern Ireland): although how much of that is the lingering memories of Gordon Brown, which will fade over time, or a permanent feature, could possibly be argued about (I suspect it is a permanent feature). It also makes it inevitable that the UK Parliament will become ever more England-centric, given that that is now the geographical unit with which the large majority of its business will be concerned, and their is little point in some of the politicians in the devolved nations making the snide remarks about that which have been emanating from those such as Carwyn Jones, who is unfortunately not a Welsh leader in the same league as Rhodri Morgan. The people in each of those devolved nations have after all voted for the arrangements now in place.

It also throws into focus the self-serving arguments of the Labour Party last month, that people in Wales should have greater representation in the UK Parliament per head than people in England, notwithstanding that around 80% of the legislation in Parliament will in the future relate to England only.

As a unionist I have to say I fear for the future of the United Kingdom. We have a ramshackle constitution, one of the main foundations of which now appears to be the maintenance of structures which will enable those in the current main UK parties to hang on to power in England, even if they have now lost power on domestic matters elsewhere. There seems to be no blueprint for the future, no plan as to where this is all leading us. Devolution may be a process and not an event, but there needs to be some common understanding amongst those in the UK about where it is taking us.

A propos of which, where is Nick Clegg's commission on the West Lothian Question, which was originally intended to be established last autumn? Well, at least the commission, if it is set up, will now have a position with respect to Wales to work on.

1 comment:

JoolsB said...

Resolving the West Lothian Question is a must but also is an English parliament. It is by denying the people of England the same rights as the rest of the UK which will eventually break up the union not the other way round. Without an English parliament, England could still have it's wishes overturned at each general election as it did last May when it overwhelmingly voted Conservative but ended up with a coalition government. Worse still, England could very well have ended up being governed by a Lab-Lib coalition consisting of Scottish & Welsh nationalists if Gordon Brown had got his way. There is no reason England can't have her own parliament within a United Kingdom, anything else will not do and hopefully, especially after the prescription charges matter this week, the people of England are finally at long last beginning to wake up to how they are being discriminated against and our spineless politians will not be able to carry on ignoring us for much longer.