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The All Wales Convention lines up

Tom Griffin
6 July 2008

Tom Griffin (London, The Green Ribbon): The executive committee for the All Wales Convention was announced on Thursday, ahead of the body's first meeting on 14 July.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said the members were a "cross section of Welsh life and Welsh opinion who can tap into the views of ordinary Welsh people."

Wales On Sunday's Matt Withers is a bit more sceptical about the line-up and about the convention's purpose:

What’s that, you say? The All-Wales what? Well, for those who have not been following the debate over Wales’ future constitutional arrangements with suitable fervour, the All-Wales Convention is either:

(a) A convention set up under the terms of the Labour/Plaid Cymru One Wales Government to test the thirst of the nation for a further devolution of powers to the National Assembly, with the aim of working towards a 2011 referendum; or

(b) An expensive and pointless talking shop set up largely to keep Plaid Cymru happy, the outcome of which has already been decided.

It will be interesting to see how events elsewhere figure in the committee's deliberations. As the Constitution Unit pointed out last week, the Calman Commission on Scottish devolution could have important implications for Wales.

So too could Ken Clarke's Conservative plan to restrict the voting rights of non-English MPs, as the Western Mail's Tomos Livingstone noted yesterday:

The idea is to deal with the murky anti-Scottishness that floats around the margins of politics these days, and questions about Wales got the former Chancellor into a bit of a flap.

Would they affect Wales in the same way? The report clearly states that the ban would apply to Welsh MPs, but after some uncharacteristic silence Mr Clarke could only offer the view that Wales was “a moveable feast”.

Indeed. I’ve written in the past that Wales risks getting caught in constitutional crossfire between England and Scotland, and here it is happening again.

 

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