Carwyn and George: the odd couple

 

You've heard of George and Mildred, and Gilbert and George perhaps. I give you another partnership - a short-term collaborative duo with a common purpose: George and Carwyn, or Carwyn and George, take your pick.

The common purpose? To help scupper the pro-independence campaign in Scotland.

The method? Well Carwyn has come up with this suggestion: implementing the Silk Commission's recommendations on limited tax raising and borrowing powers for the Welsh Government - sooner rather than later. Bringing them into force, in full, would show Scottish voters that 'separatism is not the UK's only alternative to the status quo.'

Devolved funding can be reformed within the UK - that'll be the message seen and heard in Scotland, oh and Wales and its government would get what they want too.

The implied warning? That if the Chancellor drags his heels, doesn't play ball, despite the clear consensus among all four political parties in Wales that this is the way to go, then he'll hand ammunition to pro-independence campaigners in Scotland, and make a Yes vote in next Autumn's referendum more likely.

To those who didn't read this entry last week, there is, perhaps, another element worth considering here. By sending a letter to the Chancellor calling on him to press ahead in full with the Silk Commission recommendations, any ambiguity - if there was any - about how far the Welsh government wants to go with devolving tax and borrowing powers is removed.

As Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams put it this morning, it is now quite clear to the Chancellor where all four leaders stand in Wales: we want to see those recommendations implemented - in full.

From Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies came the suggestion that the First Minister had missed a trick. Surely all four leaders ought to have signed the letter before sending it to George?

Plaid's Jonathan Edwards MP tweeted his response: It would help if Labour weren't cherry picking the Silk recommendations and calling for full implementation of the package.

That's exactly what he's done, we're told.

Back comes Mr Edwards: In that case he needs to tell his MPs who are vehemently opposed to income tax powers.

The letter points to one other area of collaboration, by the way. It seems Carwyn and George are on the same side in the political battle over the currency of a future independent Scotland. Any suggestion of a euro-style common currency would, warns the First Minister, raise "very real risks".

On Saturday I asked David Cameron whether - given his dismissal of the Welsh Government as the Muppet Show - he would trust them with any tax varying powers? His test, said Mr Cameron, remained the same as ever: would devolving any powers over tax be good for Wales and those who live and work there.

All four party leaders in Wales are now entirely clear that the answer is yes, and that implementing the Silk recommendations is the way to achieve it.

Over to David and George.

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

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 57.

    55.celticfringe
    Face facts, devolution is broken and Wales is bust!
    And England is thriving I suppose. No more 'ring fencing' of schools, Construction down 2.5% 111 Helpline is in a mess, Unemployment rose in England when it dropped in Wales. England sounds the real deal

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 56.

    42.John Tyler

    British and IRISH Lions

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 55.

    How wonderful to see that once the economic truth has proven too unpalatable, Mab and the gang start droning on about rugby and the injustices down the centuries. Face facts, devolution is broken and Wales is bust!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 54.

    I see Carwyn has changed his stance from 'full implementation' to My Way, I suggest the response from Tories and Labour in Westminster will be 'No Way'

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 53.

    ... Fo you are so refreshing in your fos observations.

    .

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 52.

    "100% of those of voting age were legally able to and were invited to vote"

    Oh but why would they bother getting out of their pyjamas and into their tracky bottoms to go and cast their vote in what was deviously sold to them as "a simple tidying up excercise"

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 51.

    Re.48

    "Only in Wales could you have a Wales Unity movement that starts by excluding 80% of the population"...

    That's an outrageous 'distortion of the facts'! 100% of those of voting age were legally able to and were invited to vote. The fact that so many didn't simply demonstrates that there wasn't, and there isn't today, any majority against devolution and the growth of Welsh democracy. Period.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 50.

    Westminster wants it both ways. It says we are better together in the Union but the whole system is built around the City of London. All of us outwith SE England are ignored. If we are subsidised by the English (and as I Scot I strongly disput that) then it is Westminster to blame. Truth is they need us more than we need them.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 49.

    47: This history lesion from someone with a mere 1400yrs history in Britain. Ours goes back as far as 33000+ yrs. You can play with historical falsehoods to suit your twisted argument but facts are facts. Yes, the Irish got rid of one disease and got infected by another." Religious Hierocracy." and at least we've a movement trying to unite Wales. The only movement you've got widens your eyes.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 47.

    #43 "Llywodraeth Cymru! " Only in Wales could you have a Wales Unity movement that starts by excluding 80% of the population.

    #42 "The Irish back to their Republic". So they overthrew the tyrrany of the English King and got Eamon de Valera and the Catholic Church. A strange view of Freedom. Try looking up the Magdalene Laundries.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 46.

    #43 We've done this before. What territory did G ap Ll actually hold ? Would you be content for that to be the extent of an independent Wales ? I fear like all nats, Louis XIV, Rudyard Kipling, present Chinese Gov - your idea of the national boundaries is ambitious, based on natural boundaries beyond the present or historical borders.

    "Welsh unity forever downplayed." Who killed Gruffydd ?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 45.

    42: That's so rose tinted. I assume also that you want us to be part of a European Union super state being so diverse as you are? lol. The Lions win or lose will return yes. The Irish back to their republic, Scots back to their soon to be Independence, Welsh to increased Devolution and English back to the bemoaning it's lost voice. Or are you just a common little Englander with no goal or purpose?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 44.

    Re 42

    In a bad mood today, John?

    'Diversity', 'common goals' - all good stuff. Can't disagree with you there. But don't I remember you praising the narrow-minded, xenophobic rabble that is UKIP recently. Hardly the home for diversity.

    And of course you choose not to give the team its real name - The British and Irish Lions. It must pain many of you here that so many Welshmen have been included.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 43.

    Re.39

    English unity forever exaggerated, Welsh unity forever downplayed. Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Wales, 1055 - 1063. The critical difference however; English expansionist land-grabbing from C6 v Britons/Welsh defence.

    As for "You are not 'refused nationhood': you build it and take it. Welsh for Unity?" ....see Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru/Llywodraeth Cymru! Both very real now.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 42.

    ... get over it, the British Lions is a perfect example of how diversity works together for a common goal ...

    ... just like the Union, which is the "common purpose ! "

    .

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 41.

    39: It's rugby tournament not a permanent situation, and a spurious example to say the least. It has no flag, no anthem, it's not a political entity and features non British residents in the Irish Rep and the players aren't required to swear allegiance to heir Queen. Oh...sorry. You must have meant Onion. Yeah, that bleeding stinks too as does the Union……

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 40.

    #38 "he surviving 'independent' Britons, relabelled Welsh (but reborn as Cymry!), were refused nationhood by the Kingdom of England"
    It's one view of history but howcome the kingdom of the English-speaking people was put together in the C9 - long before the Normans entered, yet the Welsh-speaking tribes never did unite. You are not 'refused nationhood': you build it and take it. Welsh for Unity?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 39.

    ... how to grow the Union ?


    Our British Lions !

    .

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 38.

    The surviving 'independent' Britons, relabelled Welsh (but reborn as Cymry!), were refused nationhood by the Kingdom of England as per Mab's comment. How ironic it is that those of us who speak and defend the British language are vilified by some of those who don't and who see it as an inherent threat to their Britishness! As for the Irish, well, the evidence is on the plate isn't it?

 

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