Carwyn's double standards

Night owl that I am, I've just seen the rerun of yesterday's First Minister's questions on S4C and was struck by the marked difference in his response to two of the questions.

When asked about whether the Welsh Government had been active in preparing a business plan to support the electrification of the south Wales line between Cardiff and Swansea, he said that nothing had been done because this was not devolved to Wales, but that the WG would help the UK government if and when asked to.

But when asked about potential changes in the electoral system to the Assembly due to the change in Westminster constituencies, he said that the UK government should not make any changes without the consent of the Assembly, even though this is something that is not devolved to Wales.

Our rather slow-witted First Minister seems want to have his cake and eat it.

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Artorious said...

Indeed. Carwyn must be aware that the Welsh Government has extensive powers when directing European funding towards specific projects. Rail electrification would qualify regardless of any Westminster "business case". His officials should also have briefed him that UK ministers are looking at this option.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Labour, when in office in London and Cardiff, could have used the Objective One billions to electrify and extend Wales's rail network.

Instead they decided to micromanage and create a client state with 'community-based' job creating schemes which would deliver the Labour vote.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if Peter Black and Mike Hedges have some history in Swansea? as I wondered if you noticed Mr Hedges attempted to make a Point of Order after Black.

I really hate to say it but listening to many Labour AM's it feels more like a council chamber than a Senedd. With cheap point scoring, continuing references to the ConDems.

On the Government, I am REALLY surprised how bad it is. I think they will need to have some form of coalition to give Labour some form of energy, otherwise we'll look back in 2016 and think 'what has actually been done in the past 5yrs?'!

maen_tramgwydd said...

Now, if it was Scotland, Salmond would be 'pressing' Westminster to electrify the line, whether the power was devolved or not.

Essentially its the difference between a Nationalist and a Unionist... what matters to the latter is what happens in London and the south east of England. Labour, Tories and LibDems are all the same.

It's a scandal that Carwyn Jones isn't creating havoc with them over this issue. Sansea, too, needs to get its act together, with Neath and Bridgend... CJ's own constituency!!! What a bunch of wallies.

Anonymous said...

How someone can be involved in Welsh politics and not want their country to have improved living standards and for it to grow in stature simply does not compute with me. Until it becomes obvious, their "country" is Britain and the mentality from unionists is to aimlessly manage Wales as a pointless region.

lionelair said...

anonomous 2 says that "listening to many Labour AM's it feels more like a council chamber than a Senedd"

I agree and listening to the Tories on FMQs yesterday, they sound like they think/wish they were in Westminster.

"yah, yah, yah"

Anonymous said...

Totally agree - Carwyn is turning out to be a complete waste of space. So he left it to Cheryl to make the case for electrification to Swansea, did he? She is not interested - only interested in the HS2 line going through her constituency and she is backing the nimbys there , even though it could benefit Wales. So now we have two people 'Lying down for Wales' - one in Cardiff, and one in London. We are indeed doomed - though what a great chance for Plaid if they can get a some coherence and strategy going over the next couple of years.

Rhydgaled said...

Sionnyn, I fail to see how HS2 would have much benifit for Wales. If the north Wales coast line was electrified the Holyhead - Euston services could benifit from HS2 in the form of reduced journey times. However that's it for Wales, and electrification of the north Wales coast is probablly a very long way down the list. Cheryl could couple her local opposition to HS2 with a Welsh opposition, that electrification of the whole rail network in south-east Wales would be far more benifitial to Wales than HS2. It would help our Greenhouse Gas reduction targets more than HS2 would too (in fact, HS2's contribution to greenhouse gas reduction may turn out to be nill).

A massive electrification programe in south-east Wales is key. While electrifing the ValleyLines should be taken as an opertunity to withdraw the Pacer trains the class 150 units that run most of the other services would be very valuable of improved services elsewhere in Wales. Meanwhile, adding electrification of Swansea to Cardiff and from Severn Tunnel Junction to Swindon via Cheltenham (used for diversions when the Severn Tunnel is closed, about once a week I think) to the programe of work by 2020 would, provided electrification of the Midland Main Line routes and from Bristol to Plymouth and follows between then and 2035, completly eliminate the need for the planed IEP bi-mode Intercity trains.

Rhydgaled said...

Sorry, forgot there was somthing else I wanted to say:

Rail spending is not devolved to Wales, yes. BUT: north-south premier express trains, re-doubling of sections of railway (between Wrexham and Chester and Swansea and Llanelli), additional trains to Fishguard and Aberystwyth and re-opening of the Ebbw Vale branch have all been promised or carried out by the Welsh Assembly. Admittedly, in the case of Aberystwyth the promise (in the national transport plan) was broken, but I doubt much, if any, of the funding for any of those projects came from Westminster.

A portion of that funding was/is probablly European, however I expext some or all of the EU funding schemes require match funding so the assembly can obviously therefore divert money Westminister has given them for other purposes to rail. So, I think the Assembly should have looked at other areas of planned captial spend on transport to find the £600m needed to buy 60 new 3-car class 377 electric units plus electrfication (excluding the token section from to the Severn Tunnel funded by Westminister) radiating out from Cardiff Central to Swansea (via Pencoed), Maesteg (via Rhoose), Barry Island, Penarth, Treherbert (via both routes to Pontypridd), Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Coryton, Rhymney, Ebbw Vale Parkway, Cheltenham and Cardiff Bay. Obviously the money found to be diverted would have to be from non-critical schemes which would have significantly less benifit and be less enviomental friendly than the electrification project.

In my opinion there was such a scheme to divert the money from, the 4th lane for Heads Of The Valleys Road. Unfortunatly the contract has apparently been signed of half the cost of this, but perhaps the EU could provide match funding of £300m to bring the total back up to the £600m figure. I think sacrificing the remaining miles (less than 10 if there's no get-out-clause in that contract) of 4th lane on the Heads Of The Valleys road for the electrification of the rail network of south-east Wales is worthwhile, much more than just worthwhile in fact.

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