Today, Cymru Yfory/Tomorrow's Wales launched its 'Declaration for Welsh Democracy'. Assembly Member, Bethan Jenkins has written a post on the issue which includes a copy of the Declaration. Though I totally agree with the content of the Declaration, I did not accept an invitation to sign it. This caused me much angst. "Why", you might ask. I'll explain and hope that my reasoning is not too convoluted.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I support the granting to the National Assembly for Wales of full law making powers in the policy areas which have already been devolved. They will also know that I have taken an unambiguous and public stance on this, and hope to persuade my party that this is the right and best policy for the Conservative Party to adopt. I accept that many party members do not agree with me about this. I have taken the view that I can more effectively engage with the more sceptical elements of the Welsh electorate and of my own political party if I am not in any way connected formally with a Yes campaign. Now, I reckon that the logic which has driven me to support moving the devolution 'process' on to adopting Part four of the Government of Wales act is irresistible. Its easy enough to make the argument for law making powers before an academic or an anorak audience. Making the case to a sceptical audience in Monmouth is an entirely different kettle of fish. That's the role I see or myself if AMs ever get around to asking Westminster to approve the holding of a referendum.
I see that Conservative Assembly Member, David Melding has signed the Declaration, and well done him. I do not know why other Conservative Assembly Members, who have also supported its aims publicly, have not signed it as well. Perhaps they intend to join me in campaigning in the least 'devolutionary' parts of Wales! Just seems a pity that more Conservatives have not signed up - but I suppose that I'm not in much of a position to talk! Daresay, I might have some stick for this post - especially from a commenter named Doris. Whatever, I'm comfortable with my decision about this. Doesn't stop me feeling a bit left out of things though.