Tuesday 17 August 2010

Joined up reasons, please

The news that the UK Government seems to have decided in advance to reject an LCO that it hasn't even received yet is further confirmation of the underlying hostility of the UK Conservative Party to the concept of devolution. There was no indication of any willingness to discuss or negotiate what is, at this stage, not even a formal request.

And, in reality, under the LCO process, it isn't for the UK Government to say what powers it does or does not plan to devolve; it's for the Welsh Government to say what powers it does or does not want to ask for. It's no surprise though. The real worry, however, must be the reason given, namely, that "It is essential that there is a joined up approach to tackle these serious issues in England and Wales".

It's a reason which they could give in response to each and every request; but it's meaningless as it stands. Why does this particular issue require a joined-up approach whilst others don't? Why do Wales and England need a common approach whilst Scotland doesn't? What are the criteria which David Jones has used to decide where a joined up approach is or is not needed? Without further clarification, it is hard to escape the conclusion that this is just based on a kneejerk reaction to the whole idea of devolution.


glynbeddau said...

Intresting that "Subordinate Central" reports on the matter in a manner that seems to be critical of Edwina Hart's proposal but makes no pro or anti statement on the merits. so are the Lib-dems in favour of this?

They seem to be increasingly moving against more powers be transfered to the assembly.

Peter Black said...

Official Lib Dem policy is to devolve justice powers to the Assembly along with administrative control of police and prisons. Licensing would be included in that package. We cannot do Edwina's bidding via an LCO as she well knows because licensing falls outwith the 22 areas of competence in the 2006 Act. But that does not mean that envisaged Westminster legislation on licensing cannot give this power to Wales and I would support that.