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The Cardiff Concordat

Betsan Powys | 16:10 UK time, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

_45605337_hain.jpgThe "Cardiff Concordat" doesn't quite have the same ring to it as the "Broughton Declaration" perhaps but then Peter Hain would argue that the two statements have quite different implications.

Cardiff Concordat?

Broughton Declaration?

What's it all about?

Remember David Cameron visiting Broughton and that well-trailed response to a well sign-posted question about his take on a referendum? What he announced that day was that if Assembly Members requested a referendum on granting greater powers to the Assembly, he would say yes. He wouldn't veto it.

As "decisive" a declaration, said David Melding AM, as Sir Emyr Jones Parry's report, even if it preceded it. "Thankfully" he said, his relief palpable, "that "anti-Welsh" bear-pit has been artfully avoided".

Peter Hain's response at the time was distinctly cooler. "If Cameron's true intentions were indeed for the best interests of devolution in Wales" he suggested "he should have waited to consider the widely-anticipated recommendations of Emyr Jones Parry ... This is no more than a Cameron headline-grabbing stunt"

Mr Hain did wait for Sir Emyr to report, then came to Cardiff this afternoon to deliver the message that he, just like a Conservative Welsh Secretary, would not veto a request for a referendum, if one were made.

Except his announcement, contends Mr Hain, is not 'just like' Mr Cameron's at all. The Conservative leader might have said no to a veto but hasn't said yes to lobbying for referendum success for those who want more powers. Mr Hain wants a referendum so he can go out and campaign - once again - on the yes side. He just doesn't think that should or can happen any time soon.

"We must not be straight-jacketed by a pre-determined referendum timetable that could trigger the disaster of a NO vote. We must keep all options open, meanwhile patiently building the consensus across the parties and throughout civil society which we will need to deliver a clear YES vote."

So all options for the timing of the referendum remain open but this is about winning. It's not about a timetable.

His speech - which kicked off by putting Rhodri Morgan on a par with Owain Glyndwr, Aneurin Bevan and Lloyd George by the way - was, apparently, written days ago. It was finished days ago, ergo his message wasn't influenced in any way by yesterday's events in Cardiff Bay.

He has met the Labour group of AMs to talk those through and there was one 'by the way' worthy of note. Here it is: "And by the way, I see no inconsistency between Welsh Labour's statement yesterday and that of the First and Deputy First Ministers. Actually what he said in the chamber, before correcting himself, was that he saw 'no consistency' between the two statements. AMs gleefully cheered the slip.

But the clear message of the day?

"The pro-devolution forces need time to consider it (the All Wales Convention report) and to take the pulse of Welsh public opinion. For now I say only that the global economic crisis, combined with the anger about expenses, has created a deeply anti-politics culture in Wales - hardly the best time to be rushing to ask for more powers for politicians".

So no veto and a pledge once again to support a yes campaign.

Just don't ask him yet.

16.53

A question from Plaid's Nerys Evans on the timing of another 'event' - or is it a process - or the evolution of devolution. When will the UK Government respond to the Holtham Commission report?

The answer? Peter Hain will be making a statement tomorrow.

Comments

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  • 1. At 5:08pm on 25 Nov 2009, GlamorganWarrior wrote:

    The BBC headline from this speech seems to be a double negative: "no veto."

    I just listened to the speech - the same speech you listened to - and the clear message to the Assembly from Peter Hain was more positive than that: "I want to devolve more power and I want to win the referendum."



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  • 2. At 5:18pm on 25 Nov 2009, jacothenorth wrote:

    Same old Labour message: We'll come up with any excuse we can to avoid having a referendum that - horror of horrors! - might be won.

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  • 3. At 5:22pm on 25 Nov 2009, Betsan wrote:

    #1 GlamorganWarrior

    "Mr Hain wants a referendum so he can go out and campaign - once again - on the yes side. He just doesn't think that should or can happen any time soon ... So all options for the timing of the referendum remain open but this is about winning".

    Mr Hain's made his desire to go out and win a referendum many times. He did it again today as the post makes very clear. What he hasn't done before though is say point blank that he wouldn't, as Welsh Secretary, veto a referendum. That's why it's today's headline. Can't see the double negative in it: "Hain 'no veto' pledge on powers." Now if we'd written "Hain wouldn't not veto a referendum" then you'd have a point!

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  • 4. At 5:49pm on 25 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    Re:

    But the clear message of the day?

    "The pro-devolution forces need time to consider it (the All Wales Convention report) and to take the pulse of Welsh public opinion. For now I say only that the global economic crisis, combined with the anger about expenses, has created a deeply anti-politics culture in Wales - hardly the best time to be rushing to ask for more powers for politicians".


    Now that you have mentioned it the anger about expenses has not gone away, it been supplemented by anger over the refusal of AM's to address the issues raised by their constituents.

    Recall of AM's

    In that respect you need to consider a Peoples Petition that is now been published and is open to signatures on the Recall of AM's given the back down by Gordon Brown. Just to add a bit of balance there is also a similar campaign in England for MP'.

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  • 5. At 6:47pm on 25 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    A referendum would be called if there was evidence that a 'yes' vote can be won.It is up to the Minister to make that decision whoever that may be.My inside knowledge and the £11 I won on Stoneys Revenge prompts me to back that a referendum can not be won. Any takers?

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  • 6. At 7:04pm on 25 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #5 No I am not going to take you up on that because I think the public are too anti politics and the situation is about to get worse

    So why can't we have a referendum if there was evidence that a No vote can be won? That way we can have some kind of stability for the next generation without the pro devolution Welsh calling the anti devolution Welsh, 'Welsh Haters' and a whole load of other things that I could mention.

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  • 7. At 7:13pm on 25 Nov 2009, legendaryavocet wrote:

    Pro devolution politicians quote ad nauseam Ron Davies' comment about devolution being a process not an event. I have yet to get any of them to say how they believe the process will end.

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  • 8. At 7:46pm on 25 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    6. Unfortunately that's how it's worded in the GWA but my conversations
    today have confirmed that not all welsh Labour politicians want a 'Yes' vote in fact some could be planning for a 'No' vote. One prominent politico is convinced that there is no significant evidence that a 'Yes'
    vote can be won,he said the AWC conclusions did not prove that a 'Yes'
    vote could be won.The Minister must be sure that a 'Yes' vote can be won before he commits to a referendum.
    I can't spell it out for you.

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  • 9. At 8:24pm on 25 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #8 thegnatswatter said

    not all welsh Labour politicians want a 'Yes' vote in fact some could be planning for a 'No' vote.

    That is good news and despite my disparaging comments about Welsh politics there are some politicians who will put themselves out to support the underdog against the might of the Welsh establishment. It just so happens that none of them are pro devolution or in the assembly.

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  • 10. At 9:02pm on 25 Nov 2009, Igotitallwrongsorry wrote:

    Its pretty typical of Hain who makes the position of second hand car salesmen look like the calling of the higher professsions. The consensus for a YES vote is to be built up through the political classes and civil society before a referendum is to be offered by our Lord and Masters!!!. Surely the composition of the AWC comprised those exact persons and the results of the work of AWC proved that the people in wales were anxious to move to more powers for the Assembly.Who does he think he's kidding,as we all suspect/know there a major split in Labour,particularly as they were dragooned into getting into bed with their hated enemies and splitters of wales from UK,i.e. Plaid Cymru. All the politico's who want more powers nowand their friends and fellow travellers in BBC CYMRU/S4C are fully behind the granting of more powers as stipulated in Act,however how are they going to "guarantee" a YES vote in coming years with the impact of recession upon public expenditure cuts combined with phasing out of money from Europe(mainly English and German) which has greatly assisted King Rhodri in peddling the myth about welsh economic performances. The only hope for more powers grouping is the election of DAVE as Prime Minister and then blame the Conservative proper Government for correcting the imbalances in public expenditure and pretending that it would'nt happen under Labour and there fore vote for "more powers". The referendum could be a long time in coming,but get ready for the "brainwashing" from the Media as to how wales cannot survive without giving third raters more powers.

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  • 11. At 10:17pm on 25 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Slightly off topic, but relating to our democracy ..... , Neocromwellian's petition is up at .....

    Recall of Assembly Members

    ..... , how many Plaid democrats are there ?


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  • 12. At 11:05pm on 25 Nov 2009, dai7900 wrote:

    Re 11 . I looked at this "petition". It has ONE signature!!!!! lol

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  • 13. At 11:36pm on 25 Nov 2009, Jack_Wilkinson wrote:

    Thing is dai7900,
    loads of us are willing to register with The British Broadcasting Corporation, but those of us implacably opposed to the sectarian cesspit of Welsh devolution, wouldn't even sign in to.....'Funky Dragon'!!

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  • 14. At 06:25am on 26 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 07:53am on 26 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    I have no problem with signing the petition - the principle of recall is sound, but the devil will be in the detail.

    In particular the need to demonstrate that an action or ommission on the part of an elected representative warrants such an extreme response, and that such a response is not being driven by party political considerations, or as an act of revenge on the part of one individual (for example someone having an obsession with Lampeter University).

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  • 16. At 09:28am on 26 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 17. At 10:12am on 26 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #15 penddu

    How is the weather in Cardiff where you claim to live?

    Nice of you to search for me on Yahoo from Aquitaine, Pau, France and spend all of two minutes on my website.

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  • 18. At 10:51am on 26 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    NC - I travel extensively all over Europe and I am currently in Paris - I can only assume that my network server is in Pau, where I would much rather be! Incidentally I will be in Amsterdam tommorow before returning to Cardiff, but my IP will still show Pau.

    I have previously visited your Lampost site before and was just dropping in to see if there is anything new. I sympathise with your frustrations with dealing with the Cracach but you will meet the same obstacles with all other establishment institutions, where the hidden forces are often much stronger than the public face - the old school tie in Whitehall, the Masons in the police etc.

    I am not trying to rubbish your campaign, but on every discussion on this site whether Welsh Language, Assembly Powers, Labour Leadership, etc you always keep coming back to Lampeter University, and quite frankly it is getting a bit repetitive.

    But I do agree with your Recall petition and will sign it.

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  • 19. At 11:26am on 26 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    Neo. I would sign your petition but like previous ones the WAG will not allow me access I have complained and complained and complained they've
    investigated and can't find a reason why or so they say. Perhaps that's why there's only one vote currently registered convenient server problems? Or could it be that their server is in Pau or Amsterdam?
    Are you being served in Amsterdam Penddu?

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  • 20. At 11:35am on 26 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #18 Thank you for signing my petition.

    I respect your comments and where the hidden forces are stronger than the public face then openness and transparency is the only answer.

    Paradoxically this is a battle for the ordinary Welsh person in the street against what in effect is an institution controlled by the English ruling class and the Privy Council.

    This is not just about me as through my website I have been able to help others resolve their difficulties.

    I keep coming back to Lampeter as I keep being obstructed every step of the way, it has now got to the point whereby when the lid is finally lifted it faces closure. The only way to stop this is by intervention preferably by the Welsh Audit Office for financial mismanagement as the law allowed under the Local Government Act 2000.

    Here is another quote from Paulo Freire

    "Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."

    Its this bit i object to

    an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity

    As far as higher education is concerned Krishnamurthy said "it is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society".

    Hopefully the inquiry will clear up the matter in the interests of the people of Wales as I would be only too happy to leave it all behind and move on.

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  • 21. At 12:08pm on 26 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    #20 ..... it seems there are few contributors who actually support recall, no democrats in the Plaid camp then, it seems democracy is only to be found in the Unionist camp, it was me that signed up to your petition not penddu. This particular petition should receive cross party support.

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  • 22. At 12:49pm on 26 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #21 Stoney..

    Thank you for signing my petition, I was thanking penddu in anticipation as he said he would also sign it.

    I have set down a marker with regard to the risk of suicide that seems to be the subject of student concern at Lampeter and with the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). As I am professionally qualified to comment on these matters I am only discharging the public duties for which I was trained at public expense.

    Lets hope I never have to say I told you so, because if I do then I will campaign for a charge of corporate manslaughter for failing to provide a safe environment in which to work and study as these issues concern staff and students.

    Hopefully people will see it is for all the people of Wales who believe in democracy irrespective of any other consideration. In that respect you are right it should receive cross party support so lets see what Plaid/Llafur and other parties propose on this subject.

    Unfortunately, I think that like my petition to shine the light of transparency on what really goes on inside our universities the recall of AM's will be obstructed every step of the way.

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  • 23. At 1:10pm on 26 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    19 - and also your similar comment on previous posting.

    I will be in Amsterdam on busines not pleasure - and do not need to indulge in the services you imply. They are available in Cardiff in any case should I want to - near the Magic Roundabout .......

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  • 24. At 1:31pm on 26 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 25. At 2:12pm on 26 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    23. I wouldn't know but I know there was server trouble at the LSE and it
    seems during Peter Hains speech and accessing Neo's petition at the Assembly so obviously Broadband is not as reliable as it's cracked up to be.

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  • 26. At 2:15pm on 26 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    Peter Hains announced a new funding formula that'll keep the NATS happy.
    Or will it?

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  • 27. At 3:37pm on 28 Nov 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I am highly suspicious of recall in a pr system, but in a majortitarian system, such as Westminster then it might have some value, but I am not sure how it would fit in the National Assembly - might be ok for First Past the Post seats, but following recall would it have a knock on with the list seats? I would want the details. I can see recall being just a partisan tool and nothing to do with performance of an AM or MP. Id rather go for a more democratic system where the voter has greater control, such as STV in multi member constituencies, that keeps representatives far more on their toes. So put me down as agnostic on this one, I need more convincing and details of mechanisms while not being entirely opposed.

    As for Peter Hain, no he hasn't announced a new funding formula, just a mechanism where we can be disadvantaged, but not beyond a certain level. Doesn't sound much of a good deal to me.

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