Thursday, 13 November 2008

What Now?

Plaid's decision to enter government with Labour was a move based on principle. It was to ensure that Wales had stable government and to ensure that Wales got the best deal with the strongest National Assembly that could be obtained. The Rainbow Coalition was rejected because the Lib Dems had shown themselves to be unreliable and there were doubts that the referendum could have been won without the active support of the Labour Party. Plaid rejected the extra power that the party could have had by holding the First Minister's position in favour of what was best for Wales. That was a courageous decision and one that has to be applauded.

They took the second fiddle position to Labour based on Labour's promise to advance the cause of devolution and to give a period of settled government. It looks as if Labour is reneging on that commitment. As ever Labour is putting party above country, despite what ever Alun Michael says this is a power grab by Westminster, a desire to control and dictate to the Government of Wales what it may or may not do in future - this is outwith their powers and in this case Mike German is quite correct.

This LCO sets a precedent. The National Assembly will be confined to passing anodyne legislation that no one objects to and/or policies pre approved by the majority of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee. This is not devolution its remote control.

The time in now for those elements in Labour who support devolution - real devolution that is - to stand up and be counted.

Plaid has some hard thinking to do, they need reassurances that the deal is still on and working. Having the First Minister unilaterally backing down does not bode well.

The government is not yet broken, but there is work to do to convince that the project is still worthwhile.

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