I can never understand why there's excitement when a politician states what is blindingly obvious. I'm just catching up on today's papers, and the Western Mail is making a big deal of Lord Elis Thomas' opinion that there should not be a referendum on law making powers for the National Assembly until after the next Assembly election. There's less chance of this happening than there is of Brynle Williams winning the next series of Strictly Come Dancing. And that's how its been for the last twelve months. When the Plaid Cymru/Labour Coalition was created, I did think for a few short months that it was on, but rampant inertia gripped the preparation process almost from the start, and killed the idea stone dead. The only thing left to decide is who knew this was a stitch-up from the start - or was it just Plaid activists who were stitched up? Whatever, and not for the first time, I agree with Dafydd El. A pre-2011 referendum can now be declared a deceased duck.
I also agree with the Presiding Officer than there should be a big opinion poll lead for law making powers before any referendum is held. Since I accepted the wafer-thin result in favour of establishing a National Assembly in the 1997 referendum, I have supported the case for full law making powers in devolved subject areas - but only if the people of Wales are genuinely in support. At present I see support for granting more power to the Assembly as going backwards. Since the last Assembly Election, there has been a shocking lack of leadership, as Rhodri Morgan freewheels ever so gently to that great political resting place, somewhere on the Cardigan Bay coast. And his likely successor, Carwyn Jones shows all the dynamism of a three-toed sloth after a good lunch. And badly handled publication of AMs salary increases and allowances have brought public opprobrium down upon the heads of the National Assembly in a way which makes it a real effort for anyone to link the word Yes with anything to do with politics.
So David Davies' No campaign can take a break. There's nothing else for it but to make the Legislative Competence Order system work. I'm in need of another day in the Assembly, talking through how its working out. My eyes may be set on a seat in the Palace of Westminster after the next General Election, but I have said that one of the main reasons I want to be a Member of Parliament is to do what I can to make this ridiculous system work. Looks like there's going to be plenty to do.