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Your country needs you.

Betsan Powys | 12:02 UK time, Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Oh the irony!

Three white, besuited, middle class, (upper) middle-aged, educated, bilingual men, talking about appealing to the ordinary 'gwerin' of Wales.

Who am I talking about?

The First Minister, the Deputy First Minister and the Chair of the All Wales Convention, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, a man for whom "power" is a word of one syllable and one with which he is very much at home at that. Thank goodness for the glint in his eye.

What do they want?

The three lined up in the Senedd this morning to spread the message that they're on the look-out for four ordinary Welsh men and women, not "the usual suspects", to join the All Wales Convention - the body charged with sensing the nation's appetite for further devolution.

There will be sixteen members in all, four nominated by the four main political parties, eight chosen from names put forward by eight "key organisations" (think acronyms: WCVA, WLGA, CBI, TUC etc) But four seats at the table of this posh committee- or the body that will be crucial to the future governance of Wales (hint: if you're veering towards the first, it's probably not worth filling in an application form) - will be on offer to anyone who is interested enough to apply for the job and can get their application form in by May 27th.

What will your job be? To raise awareness of the powers the Assembly already has, to listen, consult, analyse, assess how much support there is for a referendum on full law-making powers and report to the Welsh Assembly Government.

And even as we sat there listening, you could almost sense the ground shifting.

What about Welsh Labour's dreadful performance on Thursday night? What about the real possibility of all three other parties having a hand in running more councils in Wales than Labour? If there is to be a referendum, will it be about Labour being able to deliver support for further devolution at all?

What about Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander's change of heart on a referendum on independence? She may be hoping to watch it being lost while giving Labour a chance of winning the next election but the "hot news" from Holyrood, as Rhodri Morgan put it, was hard to ignore. At a push he'd admit it "may not be unhelpful to have one (a referendum) going on in another part of the Celtic empire".

What about Lord Wyn Roberts' review of devolution for the Conservatives? What if, come July, he recommends to David Cameron that he should pledge to hold a referendum in Wales during the first term of the next government - if he wins of course?

If you do send in an application form - good luck and enjoy the ride.


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