Joining the conversation is ...

 

"Whatever happens in 2014, the constitutional status quo is unsustainable."

It's not the first time by any means that Carwyn Jones has looked to big events in Scotland and spelled out that come the referendum, whatever the answer, the questions and implications for Wales will be huge. Scotland is about to determine its own future. Wales will watch, knowing that whatever Scotland decides, the impact on where the UK goes from here, Wales included, will be profound.

So there it is again from Carwyn Jones, a bid to involve Wales in the conversation happening between London and Edinburgh, a warning that the time to start working on answers and solutions is now, before the referendum, not in the aftermath of a bruising campaign. As I reported last week, David Cameron is up for the debate. But the time to have it, he says, is not now. The time to have it is if Scotland votes no to independence.

The First Minister of Wales knows what he wants to happen in 2014. He wants the people of Scotland to do just that - vote no. For what it's worth, he's confident they will. Why? Because "we are stronger together than we would ever be apart". That's what he thinks and that's what he thinks voters in Scotland will conclude as well. The First Minister of Scotland and his team will spend the next two years persuading them otherwise.

So what are the questions that Carwyn Jones wants asked?

The 'English elephant' as Rhodri Morgan had it already makes up 85% of the UK. Without the Scottish 'flea' make that 91%. How does Wales fare then? Is its voice enhanced, or does it become fainter? Does it have more influence, or less? With Scotland gone, does it get a larger share of the money, or less. What's the new deal?

And here's a key question: how does England respond? Does it run shy of devolution and its implications? Does it become more, or less, careful?

What if Scotland votes no? Does the political architecture of the UK still change fundamentally? It may be less clear cut but does it, perhaps, end up looking like a messy amalgam of nations and cities that strike their own deals over 'more' devolution? What happens to fiscal powers? What happens to Wales in this scenario? The one answer that makes no sense, says Carwyn Jones, is nothing:

"I would regret enormously any decision by the Scots to opt for independence. However, as I have made clear, a major change in Scotland's relationship with the rest of Britain - or its separation from the rest of the UK - would require a radical reconsideration of Wales' constitutional relationship within a re-defined United Kingdom ...

"So, rather than simply allow events in Scotland to unfold, and to react passively to whatever happens when it happens, I believe that political and civil society across the UK should be talking now about what kind of UK we want to see".

And here comes that line: "Whatever happens in 2014, the constitutional status quo is unsustainable."

Discuss.

 
Betsan Powys, Political editor, Wales Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

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  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 27.

    20: The example given was just. The former Yugoslavia was dominated by Serbia who ironically assumed the alpha male role of the said constituent nations just because it was bigger, held absolute power centrally in Belgrade, maintained the majority of power, defences & wealth whilst persecuting the smaller nations over redistribution of money but of Culture, Language & religion too. Very similar.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 26.

    No Boxer, repetitive. That is what Politicians do you see. Then when it is said often enough people will come to realise it. If it is an embarasment to you that affluent Tory areas are becoming so poor they have to rely on Food Banks for Middle class people to survive on. Then I am happy. Doesn't it tell you something worrying about the 21st century UK. If it doesn't then that is sad.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 25.

    Alf, once upomn a time there was a Roman senator (Cato the Elder) who, no matter what the subject of the debate, put in ' Carthage must be Destroyed ! '
    Early form of ' What about the Workers ? '
    Had you considered that your Food-Parcels theme is getting obsessive ??

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 24.

    Absolute poverty is the measure of the number of people living below a certain income threshold or the number of households unable to afford certain basic goods and services. With more and more people from even affluent Tory constituencies as well as Valley areas relying on Food Banks. I would say poverty in this country is getting to be a big problem. Not for the Toffs of course.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 23.

    How about more companies leaving Welsh business, I have tried over the last 3 weeks to get SWALEC to take on 8 new supplies to industrial units we are building, they tell me they are no longer taking on new electricity connections in what was the old SWALEC area , it seems that SSE do not want Welsh Business. Is this another company abandoning Wales.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 22.

    Carwyn feels the present constitution is unsustainable. Being Welsh is statistically like being a Vegan. You can ask for consideration of your viewpoint You can ask for Vegan dishes on the menu. But when you demand 'parity of esteem' the carnivores will laugh at you.
    You cannot ally a nation of 3M with a nation of 60M and keep both entirely happy. There isn't a golden solution out there.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 21.

    DJohn you can't compare RP in Montenagro to this country as income levels are different. Relative poverty is a conception of poverty which argues that people are poor when they are very much worse off than other people in their society. The consequence of that understanding is that, as living standards rise, the level at which people are said to be in poverty will also rise. .

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 20.

    Mab, for some reason you compare UK of GB&NI to the Yugoslav Federation. Do you honestly think that the break-up of that Federation, Sarajevo, Srebenica and all was worth it? All those deaths to create a land-locked Serbia? A liitle like NI: a war between two religions where the fighters ackowledged no religious authority.
    Would a Serbian business be more prosperous in Yugoslavia? And Wales ??

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 19.

    It appears that our Carwyn is on yet another diet.

    He is irritable from pie deprivation and sees the present situation as an opportunity to get Wales involved in what is clearly none of our business.

    Though as this assembly, with its artfully selected closet nationalists, is intent on working toward an independent Wales, the present Scottish nonsense is a splendid opportunity for troublemaking.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 18.

    ... alf, I didn't write "the Status Quo will be unacceptable" as you suggested at #10.

    I have a suspicion, a prediction even, that there will be a campaign by the Unionist parties that will continue beyond 2014, Britishness and multi-culturalism will become the watchword, nationalism is last years fashion, it will keep a hardcore but lose any real direction.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 17.

    14 Topcat I have little doubt that 20% of Londoners live in comparative poverty - Although I am not sure what the definition of that poverty is .

    The average Montenergren lives on less than 80 euros a month Although this is not a direct comparision (as we have we excluded living costs) who lives in the greatest poverty?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 16.

    The Other Elephant.
    Still no mention of the other elephant. The Union is decided by election not referendum. A referendum prevents 4m electors deciding in the ballot box between one candidate and another. A referendum keeps all MP's in their seats and the government in power. commonrepresentation.org.uk

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 15.

    10 Alf I work across the UK. The debates you refer to are already taking place - there is a hardcore of extremists in England who see an independant England
    They see no cosy settlements over pensions block grants taxes etc. Sure they might have to pay a bit more for water but only until they develop infrastrucure. The likes of PC and SNP won't have that debate - what a shame

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 14.

    #12&5
    would that be per capita income honestly earned and not preflated by criminal activities in the m25 city of london.
    an asset bubble of goverment bonds ready to burst,very little of which would seem to have been generated in wales,we seem not to move forward and an inertia stops us from doing so.
    if you take out the illgotten gains of the 0,1%
    20% of londoners live in poverty that is

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 13.

    If Betsan and BBC Wales want to know what people of Wales think of WAG and independence they should read comments given to IWA – see http://www.clickonwales.org/2012/10/most-of-wales-cut-off-from-national-assembly/ Whilst IWA as BBC Wales worship the Assembly most people of Wales think differently!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 12.

    5 Mab you have put your finger on the button. Montenegro (Wales) has a GDP per capita of $7,000. The UK and that inculdes Wales has GDP per capita of $38,000. Figures from the world Bank.
    It is clear what you wish to see for Wales thankfully your views are shared only by PC

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 11.

    should we as a country go our own way,can we be sustainable on certain things,energy,food production,tax revenues,education,law and order,banking etc. if yes yes.
    as pointed out it is a referendum by default on the uk.
    but put that to on side and england seems to want to get out of union with scotland

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 10.

    John I believe one nationalism will be dead after 2014. Because of the debates over this it will make people realise that individually we can be better off. England I believe will lead the way on this, because they will see the positives they will believe, for themselves. As you say the Status Quo will be unacceptable.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 9.

    What a lot of hot air being generated by our 1st Minister. Who knows what will happen in 2014. On present polls Scotland will vote no. At the following election an humiliated SNP will probably lose seats.
    "Whatever happens in 2014, the constitutional status quo is unsustainable." . If the SNP fail then perhaps we will return to one Government for the UK what then for CJ?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 8.

    Carwyn Jones is right for once - the UK as it is currently being administered is unsustainable and unaffordable with 4 legislative bodies all duplicating each other's establishment functions/costs for little obvious benefit to the people they are supposed to there to serve.

    If any part of the UK wants to be competitive in a hard-nosed world then we had better revert to 1-nation governance - fast!

 

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