Round at ours
It's round at our place tomorrow then.
MPs who are members of the Establishing Committee of the All Wales Convention are coming to Cardiff for round 2 of the talks. Round 1 gave us Nick Ainger as chairman and Helen Mary Jones as his deputy. Round 2 promises to be much more fun.
Why? Because this time they'll have to get down to the nitty gritty. This time they'll have to start deciding what the remit of the Convention on further powers should be and how it should operate .. and rumour has it that Labour and Plaid Cymru members of the committee have come to radically different conclusions about their remit. Cosy it won't be.
The Convention will be chaired by former diplomat, Emyr Jones Parry. That much we know - but just like a certain think-tank I could mention, we know very little else. It sounds as though Labour members want a Convention with a pretty narrow remit - in other words a group designed to advise Wales' political parties on the timing of a referendum campaign. It should be neutral and simply advise on the circumstances in which a 'yes' vote would be won. It would commission research on public opinion, assess it and make recommendations. In other words its remit wouldn't run further than examining the potential for winning a referendum under Part 4 of the Government of Wales Act.
So how about Plaid members? I gather they favour a much wider ranging remit. They want a Convention that's allowed to examine the case for widening the areas of policy which the Assembly can legislate on, like criminal justice. How about an increase in the number of AMs to deal with the extra powers which would come with additional competencies? Yes, they want that looked at too.
What about the really fundamental stuff? Labour members, I'm told, view the Convention as a neutral body. It may be aimed at paving the way for a 'yes' vote but it's essentially an evidence gathering body, not a campaigning one. Plaid on the other hand see its role as making the case for more powers, a campaigning body to build consensus, not just measure it.
Labour seem to want a smaller Convention, run by an executive. Plaid a more ambitious body, a 'rolling Convention' where the establishing committee would lead the work of a large number of smaller groups right across Wales.
Entrenched? I'm sure they'll find a way of meeting in the middle - especially since the boss, Sir Emyr himself, will be in Cardiff and part of the discussions.