Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Not Fit For Purpose

Never had anything against Peter Hain. Even respected his anti-aparthied stand. But he blew any claim he made on respect with his utterly reprehensible clause in the Government of Wales Act, which bars candidates from standing both for a constituency and on the Party List in May's Assembly Election. This was a disgracefully partisan clause in the Act -and he knew it. No wonder I so enjoyed my fellow blogger, Guido Fawkes embarrassing Peter by publishing a secret list of Labour Welsh 'names' who cannot bring themselves to back him. What we find is that the two Welsh MPs who know him best, David Hanson and Alun Michael, are out to stop Peter becoming Deputy Prime Minister. Guido's revelations were reported on by Tomos Livingstone in today's Western Mail. I really hope this scuppers Peter's chances for good. It's what he deserves. In my opinion, his behaviour over the Government of Wales Act makes him 'unfit for purpose'.

I have just discovered the breathtaking scale of Peter Hain's double standards - something I'm sure he hoped no-one in Wales would notice. Well, hard luck Peter. Last year the Scottish Parliament (a Lab - Lib Dem coalition) commissioned the Arbuthnot Report. Recommendation 9 stated;

"Candidates for election to the Scottish Parliament should not be prohibited from standing in a constituency and on the regional list in the same election"

The Westminster Labour Government, of which Peter Hain is a leading member has just given its official considered response to the Arbuthnot Report. It responded thus;

"The Government notes the Commission's recomendation strongly in favour of allowing a candidate to stand in a constituency and be on the regional list, and following this has no plans to introduce any change in this area for election to the Scottish Parliament"

The exact opposite of what they did in Wales! Peter Hain and Rhodri Morgan (together with their totally unprincipled colleagues at Westminster and in Cardiff Bay) are exposed as willing to fiddle the election system for Labour's advantage with total contempt for constitutional consistancy or decency. They think they can get away with it because voters will not be able to understand what they are up to. The reputations of Peter Hain and Rhodri Morgan will remain polluted for ever. I just hope the media give them the 'kicking' they deserve.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nick Ainger, his Wales office No.2, isn’t on the list either. What does that tell you!

Anonymous said...

Glyn, this is a load of nonsense, really is.

What if Labour loses places like Llanelli? Catherine Thomas won’t be in a position to “do” a Helen Mary Jones and come back in through the back door will she? So how can you claim that the changes in the GoWA will give Labour an advantage? The only reason you are so upset is because you face the real prospect of loosing your list seat if your party manage to win a constituency seat in Mid and West Wales.

Jeff said...

Why are the British still deciding on electoral arrangements in Wales? Clearly they cannot be trusted, better and democratic if electoral matters in Wales were decided by the Senedd.

Anonymous said...

Problem with your argument is that th Arbuthnot recomendations ignored the evidence that most Scots had no time for the list members and thought that it was wrong that those defeated in a constituency should should get into Holyrood by the back door Look at the full report it is on the internet.The problem with the list system in Wales is that it is based on European constituencies which didn't make sense when they were drawn up and in any cae no longer exist. The other problem is the closed list which means that an individual's position depends on the support of the dwindling band of party members rather than on the support of the voter.Further changes are obviously required in order to ensure that all Assembly members can claim a mandate from the electorate. It can be right that party leaders such as Nick Bourne and Mike German are only there because they top their party's regional list. You should realise that the system is a compromise because Ron davies knew thta the Labour party would not support his preferred choice of STV

Welsh Spin said...

There is a good argument that elected bodies shouldn't be deciding their own electoral arrangement - there's a clear conflict of interest. Of course this can't really apply to Parliament, since it's soverign, but I believe the Lords does still retain the power to indefinitely veto bills to extend the lifetime of a parliament.

Alun Michael and David Hanson are both in the no column because they are backing Alan Johnson.

lads said...

well done Glyn. Of course it was double standards - but then I always thought PH was untrustworthy and two faced!

Anonymous said...

the Welsh party needs to get out there and tell voters about this - I know it's difficult but most people don't understand why candidates like you can't stand in a constituency as well. We need to tell them that PH and the Labour party support keeping the system as it is in Scotland and are fidling the system here in Wales to try and cling to power in May. Plaid should have nothing to do with any thoughts of a coalition with such a dishonest bunch!

Glyn Davies AM said...

Lots of interesting comments. Welsh spin makes a good point about the value of 'independent' judgement. The best we can do in Wales at present is the Electoral Commission - which roundly condemned what Labour did in the GOWA.

The point I make in my post is that the Westminster Labour Cabinet, of which Peter Hain is a prominant member has supported the retention of a voting system in Scotland, which it has prohibited by legislation in Wales - for 'party' advantage. No amount of bringing this down to a personal level can change this fact. Peter Hain has been caught trying to fiddle the electoral system - and it really will be poetic justice if it works against Labour in some places.

Anonymous said...

it needs much more media attention. It seemed to me at the time that it got through without that much of a fight from the other Parties. We have to simplify the argument to electors to show how unjust the Labour Party are in seeking to dominate Wales in this manner.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this one Glyn. Whatever the pros and cons of the old system it should not have been changed in just one of the devolved assemblies. The Richard and Electoral Commissions both backed the previous system. I also agree with Jeff that the Senedd itself or an independnet commission within Wales should set the rules. The initial Standing Orders were drawn up by a committee within Wales , many of whom were not elected politicians at the time.