Thursday, 29 November 2007

National Assembly needs to do its homework

Wearing his other hat as part-time Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain MP, was in the chamber of the Senedd yesterday afternoon to address the Assembly on the Queen's Speech.

Mr Hain rejected claims Westminster was blocking some proposals, but said it should be able to "probe their basis".

Addressing the assembly on the Queen's Speech, he also insisted it would be "disastrous" to lose a referendum on law-making powers for Wales.

Mr Hain said he backed the Labour-Plaid coalition but building consensus on powers would "take time". Plans for a referendum on assembly powers are central to the One Wales deal which formed the basis of the coalition between the two parties after the election.

Calling for a "mature relationship between Wales and Westminster", Mr Hain said:

Parliament cannot rubber stamp or let anything through 'on the nod'... We have no desire to meddle in future policy developments, which are the prerogative of the Welsh Assembly Government and the assembly... But it is an important principle that Parliament and Whitehall departments are allowed to probe the basis of legislative requests, and that in doing so are not presented as 'unreasonable' or 'obstructive.

This must have felt like a personal message for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning & Skills Minister, Jane Hutt AM, who was Minister for Business 2005-07, and should know better. This left me with the thought that there was an underlying message of, "DO YOUR HOMEWORK"


Anonymous 29 November 2007 at 10:23  

You don't hear much criticism of Hain having two jobs these days, unlike the Defence & Scottish Secretary.

Anonymous 29 November 2007 at 12:17  

The fact that the LCOs are so broad suggests that many in the Assembly don't really know what to do with extra lawmaking powers.

dave 29 November 2007 at 13:05  

If LCOs were narrow then the Assembly would have to go back to Westminster even to change the most minor points and the whole debacle starts over again.

This just sums up the whole dogs breakfast that is the Government of Wales Act.

Anonymous 29 November 2007 at 13:19  

Good laws require politicians with the intelligence to understand what is achievable and first class civil servants with drafting experience.

Anonymous 29 November 2007 at 23:21  

Peter Hain, breaking news, £5000, administrative error, who gave you the money Peter?

Valleys Mam 30 November 2007 at 11:18  

That does not look good for Hain.
Do politicians not check what money they have and where it comes from.5K is a sizeable amount, its not like £50 is it, I suppose it depends on how much he had overall. The other thing that really stands out is how many incompetent admin people Labour seems to employ.
I don’t have a problem with people sponsoring or funding political campaigns, what does concern me is what the donors expect or get in return.
I wonder if the old practise of cash in brown paper bags still persists.

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