A referendum for liars?

On the new Aberconwy Conservatives blog, Guto Bebb makes a pertinant point about Rhodri Morgan spinning the case for a referendum.
According to 'Golwg 360' Rhodri Morgan, as part of an interview where he discusses the success of the 'One Wales' government between Plaid Cymru and Labour states that a referendum on "Scottish Style Powers" will be called in 2011

Guto points out (as I have done ad infinitum) that the Government of Wales Act 2006 clause does not offer Scottish Style Powers to the National Assembly!

In fairness Rhodri is not the only person to make this mistake, Archbishop Morgan, Gwenllian Lansdown and even the impartial BBC reporter Betsan Powys have made similar claims!

On the other side of the argument David Davies and his friends in True Wales argue against the GoW 2006 referendum clause on the grounds that they are against independence for Wales and they foresee a yes vote as a vote for independence, which, quite clearly from the wording of the act, it won’t be!

So if a referendum campaign starts tomorrow the referendum will be held with both sides of the argument making inflated claims. The Yes side saying that it is about Scottish Style Powers and the No side saying it is about independence.

But there will be nobody telling the truth that a referendum would actually be about a rather boring administrative change in the way that the Assembly gains legislative powers!

If both sides campaign on over-inflated lies, would a referendum have any real value as an indicator of public opinion? I think not!

We have a choice. We can have a referendum debate based on what the GoW 2006 clause actually says or we can have a debate on the real issues of Abolishing the Assembly, giving the Assembly parity with Scotland or Wales becoming independent. Anything else is just pathetic political posturing!

When Peter Hain first introduced the GoW Act referendum clause he suggested that a vote on that clause would settle the constitutional issue for a generation.

If both sides are lying about what the referendum is offering, I doubt if its result would settle anything, either way, for as long as a rainy weekend at the seaside.


  1. I suppose you could also have commented on how Bebb was as ever evasive on what he and the tories want on devolution, mainly because there's an edict out telling them to shut up and not rock the boat.
    Bebb probably wishes he'd stayed in Plaid, but then again since they didn't select him, maybe he doesn't.
    Sad tory opportunism that going nowhere

  2. OK, then MOF, tell us what the differences are between Scottish parliamentary powers and GoWA2. I dunno.