Friday, 29 October 2010

Cuts, Cabinet Committees and Carwyn

Okay, so 'Stiflegate' didn't really stick as a label for the issue. But whatever. In case you forgot, this was the name Keir gave to the situation facing Wales given that the new "Welsh" Secretary was only allowed a seat on one Cabinet Committee.

It was Huw Irranca-Davies MP who raised the issue in the Chamber with Mrs. Gillan after Keir sent his open letter to her. The response was typically guarded, defensive and unhelpful; typically Tory.

He didn't let it rest however, raising the issue again at the Welsh Grand Committee.

And the pressure is still on Mrs. Gillan from all over the constitutional framework. First Minister Carwyn Jones is now in on the act. Wales is suffering the consequences of the recent Comprehensive Spending Review because of a lack of "...clout around the Cabinet table," he said. Well, even more simply, it's because of a lack of presence around the Cabinet table.

She doesn't seem to be doing anything about this collective pressure though. Instead, Gillan, seemingly triumphant, declared this week that Wales would only be suffering from a 7.5% budget cut; 2% less than the UK average. Excellent. So Wales is the Koi-Takasu in this Hiroshima of spending cuts.

Every cloud, ay. (Pun intended)


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