The next step for devolution in the North of Ireland is devolving the police and justice systems to the Assembly. A major and controversial move. It will happen when the Westminster Secretary of State for Northern Ireland feels that it is time, probably within the next few months. There will be no need for a referendum.
Gordon Brown has accepted that the next step for devolution in Scotland is greater fiscal powers. Again a major change. There may be a need for a vote in the UK parliament to amend the Scotland Act, but it will probably happen by virtue of an order in council. It will happen before the next Westminster General Election in order to try and protect Labour's majority of Scottish seats. There will be no need for a referendum.
The next step for devolution in Wales will be a slight administrative change which gives the Assembly no potential further powers or areas of responsibility. The general consensus seems to be that this will happen at the earliest in three years time, but most likely in seven years time, but only if the change is approved in a referendum.
I think that this is wrong, that it is treating Wales badly, that it is something that Welsh Devolutionists and Welsh Nationalist should be shouting from the rafters and protesting on the streets about. But they are not doing so, they are clouding with this insult to Wales and praising it as an advance for Wales!
I don't understand why I get abusive e-mails calling me a fucking traitor for pointing this out on my blog, more importantly I don't understand why Labour Devolutionist or Plaid Nationalist feel that they need to defend such an unsavoury state of affairs!
Can anybody provide a rational explanation why Wales should have to wait seven years and have another referendum in order to get a quarter of what NI has and less than a fifth of what Scotland has now? Why Scotland and NI can have even more major new powers without the need for referendums? And why Labour the Lib Dems and Plaid think that such a situation is right and fair?