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This report is taken from PN Review 178, Volume 34 Number 2, November - December 2007.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

Since my account of the aftermath of the National Assembly elections in PNR 176, political affairs in Wales have moved on - though not 'apace' as the cliché often has it. They have moved on very slowly, to the disgruntlement of many voters and, of course, media commentators, who prefer outcomes disappointing, if not disastrous. In the absence of real news, much was made of an intervention by Dr Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, who does not shirk controversy. While greeting the new Government of Wales Act as a 'momentous' event, he criticised the mechanism by which legislation proposed by the Assembly can be vetoed first by the Secretary of State for Wales and then by Parliament. The Archbishop contrasted this situation with that in Scotland and declared the Act 'demeaning' and 'patronising' to Wales. It is, in his view, intended to serve the ends of the Labour Party, not the needs of Wales: a Machiavellian act, then, designed to keep the Welsh under the thumb of Westminster. Will anything ever pass this double scrutiny that is not strictly in line with Government policy? Highly unlikely, certainly so long as Labour remains in power, such is the ill will borne towards the Assembly and devolution generally by the great majority of Welsh Labour MPs.

Almost to a man this body vehemently opposed attempts to weld a Labour- Plaid coalition in Cardiff. Nevertheless, a series of meetings took place with the aim of establishing ...


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