Thursday 30 August 2007

The Evolution of Devolution

In the first devolution referendum we were offered nothing more than a glorified county council - yet Neil Kinnock and friends scared the electorate off with visions of a Welsh speaking Albania, and we lost our chance for a generation.

In 1999 we were offered a slightly better model, but this time the Kinnockites were not so successful in their scare tactics, and despite general public apathy, the case was narrowly won.

After two terms and no sign of any uniformed linguistic enforcement squads the Senedd has been generally accepted as an integral part of our society, and even the unionist Conservative party have dropped their opposition to devolution.

As the Senedd has progressively increased its powers it has also gained in credibility, and the battleground has moved significantly. In 1987 we were offered a choice between nominal devolution or the unionist status quo. Today the choice is between a more powerful legislative Parliament or maintaining our limited Assembly. Nobody is seriously advocating abolishing devolution.

However, by the time the third referendum is called I expect that the battleground will have shifted again. Independence will have been raised as a viable option, as will the establishment of a federal UK – many people who today oppose a parliament will then find themselves actively supporting one in order to counter the growing movement for independence. Nobody will be supporting a toothless Assembly.

A few more years down the road and I expect that Wales will have become a fully autonomous state within a federal UK – and that the final choice will be between Federalists and Separatists.

Evolution and not Revolution will deliver Independence.

We just have to give it enough time.


Gareth said...

For federalism something in England has to give, otherwise it will just be devolution evolved with Westminster still sovereign. Do you envisage an English parliament?

Anonymous said...

I agree, evolution and not revolution. Although Wales is politically prepared for autonomy, there is still much development required within the economy and national institutions.

For example, Dylan Jones-Evans blogs on how few universities Wales has in the UK top 50, with a complete absence from the top 20.

Unknown said...

Toque: the natural evolution will be for an English parliament, and a federal arrangement.

Ryan: your example shows why it is important to make a difference in Wales.

Anonymous said...

whats wrong with revolution -there have been some great outcomes from them.
Revolution a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving; "the industrial revolution was also a cultural revolution"
the overthrow of a government by those who are governed
revolution is a relatively sudden and absolutely drastic change. This may be a change in the social or political institutions over a relatively short period of time, or a major change in its culture or economy. Some revolutions are led by the majority of the populace of a nation, others by a small band of revolutionaries. Compare rebellion.

Unknown said...

Without the language, which you envisage, Wales would be a shadow of its present self.
Fortunately your distorted vision will never come to pass.
How does a professed Welsh patriot come to deny the very expression of Welah nationhood?
Sad indeed...

Anonymous said...

Ioan Estron's comments are a waste of time and will be deleted! I suggest that you ignore the troll!

Independence4Celts said...

Why not full independence? There are 10 countries smaller than Wales in Europe. We can look after ourselves like the Irish and Norweigians can. We can make this happen. All we need is to get the anglicised Welsh on our side, by explaining that Plaid is not just for Welsh speakers; it's for everyone that makes Wales their home. The only party that put's Wales and the interests of the Welsh first; not based in England for England's values.