Friday, November 1, 2013

Yeah, Blair, what have the nationalists ever done for Wales?

Those ever-delightful anti-independence chaps on Twitter seem to be terribly excited about events in Wales today.

Better Together : Devolution of key powers to Wales is more proof that further devolution is being delivered within the UK.

Which raises a couple of obvious questions - a) how exactly would it be possible to deliver devolution outside the UK, and b) if it's possible to deliver extra devolution to Wales right now, why is it necessary for Scotland to wait until some unspecified date in the future, which will conveniently be long after we've surrendered the bargaining power of an impending independence referendum?

Blair McDougall : By the way, support for leaving UK = 7% in Wales (ICM). So today also blows away idea that it's nationalism that delivers powers.

Yes, Blair, you don't need nationalism to deliver extra powers - well, just so long as nationalists win an election in another part of the UK and hold a referendum on independence, thus making the UK government realise that there is potential short-term tactical gain in making a small "demonstration" concession to the decentralisers. After all, as Mr McDougall so helpfully reminded us just two days ago, the UK government will only be seen to act against the Celtic Fringe after the independence referendum is safely out of the way.

Oh, and it probably also helps if you had a nationalist party - Plaid Cymru - in government between 2007 and 2011, and thus in a position to build some momentum for new powers in the face of total boneheaded intransigence from a Labour Secretary of State for Wales.

But apart from those two minor details, yeah, this is incontrovertible proof that you can trust the Tory/Labour "people's choice" alliance to deliver all the extra powers that you could ever dream of.

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