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The Blog of Adam Price AS/MP, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

Adam Price MP / AS - Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

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12th December 2007

Grand Designs

I had to bow out of the Welsh Politician Awards last night because of the early start of the Welsh Grand Committee this morning  back at Westminster.  If reports are anything to go by, it was a wise decision.  Apparently the Secretary of Sate for Wales likened Martin Shipton and I to “Laurel and Hardy”.  No prizes as to which one’s which, but the more obvious question is why? If you are going to trade in personal attack then they should - like Vince Cable’s Stalin/Mr Bean (soon to be Mr Has-Bean if things get any worse) - at least be funny.  I hope Peter’s found a better joke writer for the Wales Office Xmas Party.

At the Welsh Grand Paul Murphy protested he was not a devo-sceptic (and almost convinced me), Don Touhig talked slightly swivel-eyed about malign nationalist ministers and Dai Havard warned of the dangers of constitutional fetishism.  So far, so predictable.  I am a Welsh-Grand-agnostic and think that it should probably be given a decent burial like the Scottish Grand Committee that hasn’t met for four years and was also largely an excuse for splenetic nat-bashing.  The Welsh Grand, the Welsh Day Debate and even, dare I say, the Welsh Secretary are forms of tokenism that, to me at least, feel as if they belong to a bygone age.  The caravan has moved on.  Leaving just a few stragglers behind.   

But in the wind-ups there was a glimpse of the new.  Hywel Williams talked of the momentous events of this Great Year (Blwyddyn Fawr) which will only properly be appreciated in the future.  He talked of the new political order - One Wales -, which despite the cracks and the creaks, was most remarkable for the very fact that it existed. And Huw Irranca - emollient and passionate in equal measure, something I’ve not yet managed to master - capped it off by quoting the former Vice-Chair of Plaid Cymru, Gwyn Alf Williams famous existentialist passage about the making and remaking of Wales.

So, as I look forward to next Monday and the first meeting of the All-Wales Convention Steering Group of Plaid and Labour MPs and AMs, I am feeling pretty positive.   A colleague has said it will be an useful dry-run for the independence negotiations - and the fact that it is in London in the middle of December does give it certain echoes of the Treaty negotiations between Lloyd George and Arthur Griffith.  But there is one important distinction - it will be Wales around the table charting its own future.  We don’t need Winston Churchill nor Lord Birkenhead - though we do need their spirit of generosity. Though I doubt if we will stay up drinking and singing till the early hours of the morning as they did with Michael Collins!   

2 Responses to “Grand Designs”

  1. normalmouth says:
    December 12th, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    “former Vice-Chair of Plaid Cymru, Gwyn Alf Williams…”

    And, if rumour has it right, a Labour supporter (and donor) after that.

    Perhaps an appropriate One Wales mascot after all.

  2. PrivateDick says:
    December 20th, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    “A colleague has said it will be an useful dry-run for the independence negotiations”

    Since three-quarters of the electorate reject independence, do you think that a Welsh Parliament could be used as a trojan horse for bringing independence closer without having to explicitly campaign for it?

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