Just home from leafleting and looked through the Western Mail online. And there it was. The latest round in the undignified spat twixt Alun Michael MP, former First Minister of the National Assembly for Wales and Lord Elis Thomas, Presiding Officer of said institution. Demeaning and damaging. Do you remember that recording of Joyce Grenfell, trying to keep control of schoolboys misbehaving? Personally, I support the idea of sixguns at dawn to sort it out.
At least no-one else has been silly enough to join in. All this petty squabbling only reinforces my long standing opinion that the current system of transferring powers from the Westminster Parliament to the National Assembly is a 'constitutional crisis waiting to happen'.
The basic problem is that things are unclear. I'm not at all sure of the appropriate level of scrutiny that should be undertaken by the Welsh Affairs Committee. When a Legislative Competence Order is being considered, it is not a new law, which would warrant the most detailed consideration. What it is is the power to pass a law, in a specific area of policy. This inevitably raises new questions. MPs will want to know what AMs intend to do with their new power. They may even want to think about what laws AMs could in theory pass, at some stage in the distant future. From one angle its possible to think that MPs are becoming too involved in detail. But from another angle, its possible to think that MPs should consider every possible use to which the new power could be put. There seems enough material here for Alun and Dafydd to carry on poking sticks at each other for many years to come.