Thursday, 25 March 2010

How long is long?

Nick Bourne claims today that "Welsh Conservatives have long called for a review of the Barnett formula and a proper needs-based assessment of funding for Wales".

I wonder what 'long' means on planet Tory. In 2007, when the Holtham Commission was being established, Bourne had this to say about the formula, "There is no harm in looking at it, but I am not convinced, as they are, that this is necessarily bad news for Wales."

Interesting that he quotes Cameron, too, as saying that "even Lord Barnett says it’s coming to the end of its life". Actually, Lord Barnett has been saying for a number of years that the formula is already well past its sell-by date, and that he had never intended it to last more than a year or two in the first place.

Some of us really have been banging on about this for a long time, but trying to suggest that the Tories are amongst that group looks like another attempt to re-write history, as they realise just how far behind they've been left.


Anonymous said...

BlogMenai makes a similar point in relation to Nia Griffith's "conversion" in Llanelli

I wonder whether we should be glad that people eventually come around to our way of thinking or frustrated that we've banged our heads against these brick walls for so long.

Yesterday we saw Leighton Andrews introducing the pilot for laptops - a policy he vocally opposed.

We remember how free prescriptions were dismissed by Labour as "nationalist madness" in 1999, but by 2003 they had decided it would be rather a good idea.

I think we've just got to roll with it.

Bear in mind though - the "commitment" of both Tories and Labour to reform of Barnett will evaporate just as soon as they no longer have to play both sides against the middle.

John Dixon said...

I'm always pleased when people who've argued against us in the past come round to understanding that we were talking sense all along. As I've said often in the past - we need to win the arguments, not just the votes.

I just wish they would be honest and admit that they've changed their minds, rather than claiming that they have 'always' or 'long' argued for something, which is very Orwellian.

Plaid Panteg said...


I genuinely think that the other refuseniks in terms of Barnett knew they were wrong on the argument, they just felt they needed to pick an opportune moment to change tack.


The Leighton Andrews thing is a bit of knockabout granted, but I dont like the general principle. I am quite sure Plaid Ministers have announced notional 'Labour' policies since the inception of One Wales.

We have to be mature about the pluses and minuses when it comes to coalition. Plaid Ministers have done this to a tee. Once we had 'One Wales' it was vital it was a united Government working through an agreed policy programme with collective cabinte responsibility.