Saturday, February 17, 2007

Labour in Westminster keeps ignoring Labour in Cardiff

The past two weeks have offered us vivid illustrations of the political imbalance which exists between Westminster and Cardiff.

First we heard Sue Essex apparently supporting PCS workers against the action of her own government in London and then we had Rhodri Morgan calling for 0% interest rates in Wales. Both of these Assembly politicians will be routinely ignored by their counterparts in Westminster and what London wants (job losses in the public sector and punitively high interest rates for manufacturing industries) it will no doubt get.

Unfortunately we can expect much more of this after 3 May. The Government of Wales Act ensures that Peter Hain and his Westminster pals will have no fewer than five opportunities to overturn any measure proposed by the Assembly. This is a direct consequence of Rhodri Morgan's obsequious capitulation to his MPs when he chose the ridiculous Orders in Council over the sensible recommendations of the Richard Commission.

With the weakest legislature in Europe on offer it will be no surprise if participation in the Assembly elections on 3 May falls below 40% and Morgan and Hain will have only themselves to blame.

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