Friday, July 28, 2006

Are we nearly there yet, Sam?

The Government of Wales Act stopped being a Bill and became an Act this week. Peter Hain and Rhodri Morgan were very pleased and threw a party in the Assembly to celebrate.
Far more interesting than the speeches by Mr Hain, Mr Morgan and Lord Elis-Thomas (about Mr Hain, Mr Morgan and Lord Elis-Thomas) was the guest list.
The usual political hangers-on attended. But so too did Cardiff City's charismatic chairman Sam Hammam. I didn't have time to ask him if he thought Mr Hain was right in his assertion that the Act settles the constitutional wrangle over devolution for ever and ever and ever Amen.
For the record, I don't. Although it means Wales will pick up a long-overdue Scottish-style parliament after a referendum, it doesn't say when that referendum will be. It will need the agreement of the Welsh Secretary, Parliament and two-thirds of AMs before it can be put to the people - but as far as I can tell Assembly Ministers can call for one whenever they want.
Labour say there is no demand for one in the country yet. Cue ceaseless squabbling about when the time is right.

1 comment:

Cornflake King said...

I'm a big admirer of Sam Hammam.

All the best.