Monday, 28 March 2011

Decoupling from Labour

Ron Davies Spells out the Way Forward for Devolution

Ron Davies has said the process of devolution will continue following the Yes vote in the referendum – and the limits of ambition should only be set by the people of Wales.

Speaking at the party's Spring Conference in Cardiff today, Plaid's Caerphilly Assembly candidate and the architect of devolution, also launched a broadside at Labour accusing them of failing to stand up for Wales over the last decade.

The former Welsh Secretary said:

"On 18th September, 1997, Wales voted by a majority of 6,721 votes to create its own National Assembly. On 3rd March, 2011, Wales voted by a majority of 219,752 to give that Assembly law-making powers. Who says devolution is not a process? And that process will go on as Government evolves and nations redefine their relationship within these islands of Britain.

"Here in Wales we are reasserting our identity and expressing it
through our politics. But those politics have to be inclusive of the
whole nation."

Ron Davies stressed that opponents of law-making powers needed to be "taken with us and be reassured as we build our new systems of law-making and governance".

He went on:

"The limits to our ambitions should only be set by the people of
Wales. This process of building our democracy and a better Wales which goes with it should both challenge us and reassure us. We in Plaid speak for an increasing majority who want a greater degree of self government. After all, we as a party have done so much to get us where we are today."

Ron Davies also laid into Shadow Secretary of State Peter Hain.

"It was so kind and generous of Peter Hain to remind us right at the start of the campaign that we wouldn't be having a referendum at all if it were not for Plaid.

"I am not entirely convinced his intervention was intended to foster inter-party unity in the driver for a 'Yes' vote. In fact, I am not
all convinced.

"If ever there was a case of getting your retaliation in first that
was one. As far as the Labour Party is concerned when it is a choice between party interest or national interest there is only one winner.

"Peter Hain knew full well how de-stabilising his comments could have been but the calculation was 'so what, there's a party game to be played'. Ill-judged and mistimed maybe, but you were right, Peter. Without Plaid there would have been no referendum on 3rd March."

The former Welsh Secretary said that Labour had failed to stand up for Wales during its years in office.

"Pity they didn't stand up for Wales for the last 10 years and help
rebuild our economy or get fair funding for public services. They
couldn't even stand up to their own backbenchers and get us a proper Parliament. Now Labour is adrift. Values abandoned, no direction, no strategy, no plan. They won't even acknowledge how deep our economic and social crisis is. Just spin and excuses." 


Referring to Labour's coalition partner Plaid Cymru Peter Hain called for a majority to "kick nationalists out of government".

A better prospect for Wales would be to kick Labour out of the Assembly, once and for all.

No comments: