Showing posts from July, 2010

All talk?

Posted on This is My Truth on July 16th I understand that last Monday the Cabinet finalised the Assembly Government’s Climate Change Strategy to be launched in October. From May all parties in the Assembly are committed to starting cutting our carbon emissions by 3% every year. Ministers have been justifiably proud that this makes the Welsh Assembly Government one the world’s leading regional Government’s. Indeed, one of Carwyn Jones’ first acts as First Minister was to head to Copenhagen to represent Wales and parade our record. But we are some way off matching the rhetoric with action. Had the ‘Rainbow Alliance’ been formed between Plaid, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in 2007 Government Ministers would have pledged to cut 3% a year from all Welsh emissions starting immediately and delivered by 2011. The One Wales agreement had a watered down version. The 3% target would only apply to devolved areas (so the fear of shutting down the steelworks at Port Talbot could

Bumper Boost for Banner

Posted on This is My Truth on 7 July Eights months out from a referendum on further powers Gerry Holtham's latest report is, how shall I put it, unhelpful. The conclusion by the three man Commission that the Assembly should be accountable for what it spends, just as a Local Authority is, by having to raise its own revenue is intellectually undeniable. But is manna from heaven for the No campaign. And Holtham's rider that his package of financial reform should be subject to yet another referendum is sure to be seized upon as confirmation that the slope towards independence gets slipplier with every incremental step. These arguments can be countered, but whereas the first report helped the narrative of the Yes campaign, yesterday's final installment does not.


Posted on This is My Truth on 1 July The Left Foot Forward blog is reporting that the timetable for the promised referendum on changing the Westminster voting system will be announced next week, and that the referendum itself is most likely to be scheduled for May 2011 – on the same day as local Council elections in England. And of course the day elections to the National Assembly for Wales are also due to take place. The Con / Lib Government haven’t scored highly on sensitivity to Wales so far and bracketing the Assembly elections with other ‘local’ elections in England confirms the pattern. If allowed to go ahead on the same day voters would face the confusion of media coverage about changing to the Alternative Vote for elections (they are unlikely to distinguish between Westminster and other polls) while voters in Wales will be expected to use the AMS system for only the fourth time. Understandably Welsh Party leaders are looking to exercise their ability to request a delay of one