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About John Osmond

John Osmond is a former Director of the Institute for Welsh Affairs. He stood for Plaid Cymru in the Preseli constituency in 2007, 2015, and 2016. His novel Ten Million Stars are Burning, the first of a trilogy examining Wales between the 1970s and 1990s, was published in March.

Articles by John Osmond

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Why Adam Price is the man of the moment for Wales

Adam Price is the leader Plaid Cymru needs to kick start the moribund Welsh devolution process, writes John Osmond.

Wales side-lined by Scottish referendum debate

The Welsh are feeling adrift and driven by currents flowing from north of the border

What Thatcher did for Wales

Which politician did most to secure devolution for Wales? Margaret Thatcher. The miners’ strike was the beginning of an era that proved time and again Welsh difference from Britain and alienation from the English.

Wales is leading the debate on a federal UK

John Osmond reflects on how far Wales has come in the last 15 years, as he steps down after a long career as head of the Institute of Welsh Affairs. The history demonstrates the unstoppable dynamic built into the devolution process. Now Wales is at the forefront of thinking on the possible future of a ‘Britannic federation’.

Welsh poetry competes with the Olympics for a place in the sun

As the Great British Summer reaches its twilight, John Osmond reflects on the continuing resurgence of Welshness marked by last week’s Eisteddfod.

A written constitution for Wales?

The First Minister of Wales has called for a written constitution that would redefine the relationship between the UK nations.

The murder of Hilda Murrell, an abiding mystery?

The grotesque murder of a 78 year old rose-growing spinster continues to grip attention in Britain after 27 years - and this is why....

Why Wales escaped the riots

Why did the riots that swept through urban England last week stop at the Welsh border? And how has the Welsh reaction differed to that of the English?

Welsh Labour must seek another Plaid coalition

Today, Welsh Labour reached the barrier to secure an Assembly majority, but failed to cross over. Will leader Carwyn Jones choose to govern alone without a clear mandate? It's far more likely that the party will seek a coalition with Plaid Cymru

The interdependency of progressive politics and devolution in the UK

Until we take a cold, hard look at England and its place in the world, social democracy will continue to languish behind Offa’s Dyke and Hadrian’s Wall Social democracy can't be the territory to Scotland and Wales. British social democracy must go hand in hand with devolution

The early days of a better nation? Wales will decide today

“Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation,” was how the Scottish writer Alasdair Gray advised his fellow citizens. It is an apt quotation for us in Wales as we go to the polls in today’s referendum.

The Welsh referendum campaigns are being stifled by electoral rules

n the lead up to the Welsh assembly powers referendum on 3 March, both the Yes and No campaigns are going for a final push. But the legislation setting out how the campaigns should be fought is having unintended consequences.

Fiscal federalism

John Osmond (Cardiff, Institute of Welsh Affairs): Hints from the Prime Minister on future funding options for the Scottish Parliament are rare and usually Delphic in their meaning. So close attention was paid to Gordon Brown’s relatively unambiguous remarks on the theme in a speech delivered to a CBI Scotland dinner in Glasgow in early September.
Although observing that on the whole devolution had worked pretty well, he said he did see one problem: fiscal accountability. As he put it: “The Scottish Parliament is wholly accountable for the budget it spends but not for the size of its budget. And that budget is not linked to the success of the Scottish economy.

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