Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Convention Clues

With the recruitment process for the Executive of the Convention now in progress (soporific, claims Ordovicius), we will presumably soon know who the four parties are to appoint as their nominees. For all the talk about involvement and participation, the final decision will be a political one, and these four appointments are critical in determining whether the parties do, or do not, sign up to the inevitable decision to postpone the referendum.

With the obvious splits in their ranks, Labour will do whatever they can to avoid having a referendum in the agreed timescale, so will be looking for a nominee who can make the right noises about wanting to move ahead, but mutter darkly about the timing.

One might naturally expect Plaid to appoint the most bullish member of the Convention, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them appointing someone who will be willing to back-pedal and agree with Labour, for the sake of avoiding any tension in the coalition. Indeed, that’s precisely what I expect to happen.

The Lib Dems’ appointment will be, like his or her party, largely irrelevant to the process.

The Tory appointment will be perhaps the most interesting of all. Freed of any need for democratic input into the appointment, this appointment will be made by Bourne, and Bourne alone. Despite the opposition to devolution from most of his party and all of his MPs, it is not inconceivable that Bourne will sense that Labour and Plaid are ready to renege on their promise and that could allow him to seize the opportunity to appoint the most enthusiastic devolutionist that he can find.

After all, the Tories won’t have to deliver on any commitment to a referendum – the coalition leaders have already decided that it won’t happen. But it would enable Bourne to outflank Plaid on a key issue. And in terms of positioning for the future, disillusioned Plaid voters are exactly what Bourne is looking for.


WelshBlogIndex said...

I will be back and reviewing the blogs from Monday! Hope you will be keeping up the blogging and let me know if there are any blogs that need adding to the blog reviews!


Anonymous said...

The Lib Dems’ appointment will be, like his or her party, largely irrelevant to the process.


Draig said...

Sums it up really - the SNP are tying Labour up in knots in Scotland over a referendum on full Independence, and we're getting ourselves tied up in knots over when we have a referendum on a slightly longer leash from London...

Anonymous said...

good analysis, the Tories may well do ok out of this process as Plaid Cymru seem to be enamoured by power at the moment and Labour are still in too much shock to think straight.

I did like the comment about the Lib Dems :)