Showing posts from October, 2011

Commissioning is becoming a convention

Posted on Wales Home on 11 October 2011 So, there’s to be another Commission to examine the future of devolution. Ken Hopkins would have approved. He died this summer. He was a complex man, and the epitome of the machine politician. Indeed, he wasn’t a ‘politician’ at all, a least not formally, which in a way proves the point. He was an apparatchik, and proud of it. After Labour’s traumatic defeat in 1992 Ken Hopkins was appointed to Chair the Party’s Policy Commission to review its policy on devolution. As Secretary of the Rhondda Labour Party, and one of Neil Kinnock’s ‘mates’, Hopkins was certain to come up with a dependable compromise which would not upset the Party establishment. And he duly did, the long forgotten ‘Shaping the Vision’. The reason I think of Ken today is something he said to me about the brief he was given. The purpose of the Commission, Welsh General Secretary Anita Gale told him, was “to occupy the troops”. There was five years until the next election, a