"The reluctant dragon" - The Economist reports on Wales


"Few in Wales follow the assembly or care greatly about what it does."

That, at least, is the view of The Economist, which argues that Wales, like Scotland is growing more independent from Westminster - "unlike Scotland, it isn't too happy about it".

The article (written from Cardiff) is the lead story in this week's Economist, and will be seen by readers for whom the Barnett formula and the Silk commission are not on the radar.

I linked to the article via twitter and it prompted something of a storm from those who tend to devote more of their time to devolution than The Economist has traditionally done.

Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams tweeted: "Partial patronising dated selective and lazy journalism at its metropolitan finest".

Tory Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb joined in: "I groaned at mention of pensioners drinking days away in "battered" Merthyr pubs. Very weak article."

BBC presenter Huw Edwards added: "Curiously ill-informed piece, factually wrong in parts, patronising (it's The Economist), and muddled logic."

That prompted the report's author, Daniel Knowles, to defend his article, arguing that turnout figures in assembly elections don't suggest "bounding enthusiasm" and that the rise of the SNP had made people take Scottish devolution and the Scottish Parliament more seriously.

Whether you agree with the article or not, let me know what you think.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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