Thursday, 4 November 2010

Getting rid of Welsh & Scottish Questions must save some money

Why drag the Secretary of State for Wales to the House of Commons every month to answer such questions as:

Mr Wayne David (Caerphilly) (Labour): Given that the Secretary of State's Department does not stand up for Wales, what does it do?
Mrs Gillan: My Department stands up for Wales, unlike the previous Secretary of State, who stood back from Wales, allowed it to become the poorest nation in the UK and then compared it to Rwanda.

or

Neil Parish [Conservative, Tiverton]: Does the Secretary of State agree that streamlining regulation and stimulating the private economy will be essential to the Welsh economy?


Mrs Gillan: My hon. Friend needs very little reply except to say that I wholeheartedly agree with him and will do my best.

? One hoped that at least the irrelevant party point-scoring from English Conservatives would have ceased with the change of government in Westminster, but it appears not.

One could also question the existence of the post at all, but at least Cheryl Gillan has done more for Wales than the last Labour Welsh Secretary. She may not immediately have persuaded the Minister of Transport to authorise the electrification of the South Wales main railway line, nor the Minister of Defence to go ahead with the training facility in the Vale of Glamorgan, but then neither did Mr Murphy or Mr Hain. Both projects are still under consideration, and, if St Athan does proceed, then it will be on a basis of better value for money than the PFI scheme that Labour was considering. The block grant for WAG may have been cut by £1.8 billion, but we now know that Labour would have cut it by around £2.8 billion over four years.

The revival of the Welsh Parliamentary Party - a back-bench initiative - alongside the continuing Welsh Grand Committee is another reason for the abandonment of the charade of Welsh Questions.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reduding the number of Welsh MPs would save some money as well

Anonymous said...

There is no need for a Welsh Secretary or a Scottish one. Can you imagine Obama appointing a Secreatary of State for Texas or Mississippi? I'm sure that would go down well among the right wing Republican majority in those states. Wales, Scotland, NI & England should all be fully devolved in a 'federal style' United Kingdom, that would be the best way to preserve the union. Everytime a Welsh secretary (especially from a party that the Welsh people didn't vote for) rejects Welsh legislation it will fuel the fire of separatism.

Frank H Little said...

I agree. If you are a Welsh resident, Anonymous, I take it you will be voting for legislative powers when that referendum comes round?

Anonymous said...

ah........Rwanda!