"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

What does Scottish funding pledge mean for Wales?

The pledge to keep the spending formula which decides much public spending in Wales has received a mixed response.

Read full article


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    The reality is that all the devolved nations aren't in a position to go it alone. As stated in previous entries there is still the question for Wales of a £9 billion black hole. Scotland and Northern Ireland are in similar positions. And this is before the additional cost of home rule is taken into account.
    So the financial facts make this a non starter unless you want to see tax rises and cuts

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    ... the expression I used Fo was "... that’s the majority of people in Wales".

    i naturally excluded you and your likeminded friends !

    The Economist seems in step with our very own Carwyn ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    #2 - I thought it was rather insightful, although I'm not entirely sure the Scots are really that up for independence. Mr. Edwards c/o BBC - I point you to a famous saying, 'People who live in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones' and I'm not entirely sure what was factualy wrong with it... Yes the Merthyr stereotype was a little broad, but not too far from reality for many pockets of Wales.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    ...as the economist writes ...

    "Like Scotland, Wales is growing more independent from Westminster. Unlike Scotland, it isn’t too happy about it"

    ... "and so say all of us", thats the majority of people in Wales !

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Just read the article. After all the huffing & puffing from Huw Edwards, I expected something a little more outrageous. So, his picture of Merthyr is a cliche, but that doesn't make it untrue. Newport and Swansea have both suffered from the Cardiff boom.
    If Wales did want independence , it would prioritise a decent North-South link. Four hours to get across a small region is unrealistic.


Comments 5 of 12



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.