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Letters of state

photo12The last time Wales’s First Minister put pen to paper to a senior minister in the UK government was to no less a person than the Prime Minister himself. Jones’s purpose,  a constitution convention.

It was his hope that such a convention might bring about a different form of governance in these islands of ours.  It might also spike the nationalist bubble north of Hadrian’s Wall.

Cameron’s reply, well he didn’t. But there’s no constitutional convention. An answer of a kind. But not one that falls within what you might call the “respect” agenda.

Indeed it would seem that Cameron regards Carwyn Jones’s government with some distain. PA0500015Indeed he called the Welsh Government the Muppets show only just this weekend.

But Jones is clearly a man of letters and is not easily put off putting pen to paper. This time he’s winged a letter off to George Osborne.

In it he wants George Osborne to implement the Silk Commission’s recommendation in full and soon. Why you may ask? Well as an example to those restless Scots that independence is not necessary, to get more powers.

Now Jones’s view is that the UK can demonstrate its support for devolved government by giving the total Silk package the OK.  Not only the OK, but also action on full implementation before the next election.

Now of course early action on this would certainly give the pro-unionists another argument to deployed in the referendum campaign in Scotland.

The odds are that the wily Alex Salmond will not be best pleased by Carwyn’s correspondence.

My guess is that there will be someone even less pleased than Salmond. Name names, I hear you say. OK then, young Owen Smith MP, the shadow Secretary of State for Wales.

It’s one of Wales’s worst kept secret that he’s being briefing hard to undermine Carwyn Jones’s aims of getting the assembly powers over finance in general and is particularly against income tax varying powers.

In this he’s only acting as cheerleader to the majority of the parliamentary Welsh group. They don’t like giving Cardiff Bay more powers. More powers for the Bay, less for them, Simple. And then someone will ask the uncomfortable question what are they for. The poor dears feel unwanted and unloved and this latest request just plays to their paranoia.

Now back to the letter. Clearly Carwyn Jones is not pussy footing about cherry picking the Silk proposals he wants the lot. Equivalent of a two-finger salute to MPs of his own party.

He’s had enough of them trying to undermine him in Westminster. He was elected by the whole party in Wales and is now reminding them that he’s boss. So it would very much suit his agenda to get the proposals on the statute book this side of the general election.

The First Minister knows that should there be a Labour government in Westminster and Owen Smith as Secretary of State for Wales. He has a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the full package.

So George, do the lad a favour and write back and say yes and soon.




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One Response to “Letters of state”

  1. kp says:

    Let’s assume that Wales gets tax raising powers but because of poor educational attainment is unable to raise sufficient funds to pay for its needs.

    Does it suddenly become England’s problem once again?

    Hardly fair!

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