Politics by innuendo

When I saw a headline yesterday's Western Mail which said that Cheryl Gillan had spoken out against the "glaringly obvious" risks of a separate legal jurisdiction for Wales, I thought we would at least be told what she thinks these glaringly obvious risks might be.

But even after reading what she said several times, I couldn't see anything that even hinted at what she meant. The substance of what she said was that she saw no case for changing the current arrangements and questioned how it would benefit the people of Wales. Maybe so, but that's very different from saying that a separate legal jurisdiction for Wales carries any risks.

I can only conclude that what she had in mind must have been so glaringly obvious to her that she felt relieved of any need to tell anybody else what she meant. That's one way of doing politics, I suppose. At least it's good for a laugh.


Say no more, Cheryl. Politics should be about presenting what you believe simply and openly in the hope of getting others to see the merits of your position ... not resorting to cheap innuendo.

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Cibwr said...

A separate legal jurisdiction is the logical consequence of having diverging laws between Wales and England. Every state in the USA is a Separate Legal Jurisdiction. Its simply an administrative matter.

Anonymous said...

I was disappointed to hear her, essentially anti devolution views.

I like Cheryl, I think she's been the best SoS for Wales in a while. Outbursts like these only sours this.

Anonymous said...

A nod's as good as a wink if you're stuck in the middle of a dark tunnel under the Chilterns. Know what I mean?

Unknown said...

I don't understand how she has "been the best Secretary of State for Wales" for a while. I'm open to a case being made but she hasn't actually delivered anything. There was a press quote a few weeks ago where a source of hers listed what she delivered and it included things like the housing LCO (Plaid legislation which the Tories rejected at first), the Silk Commission (???), the referendum (initiated by Labour and Plaid, a campaign in which she was neutral) and rail electrification (which has been cut from Swansea to Cardiff, penalising the west of Wales). That aside, it should simply be unacceptable for Wales' Sec of State to not represent a Welsh constituency. Even Labour wouldn't do that. Wales cannot be treated in that way anymore. It is fundamentally patronising and has major issues for accountability. They have several Welsh Tory MPs to choose from.

Anonymous said...

I'm of the view that she's been the best for a while because she seems more pro active.

With the referendum: Hain dragged his feet on approval, she went straight for it.

Whether we like it or not, she has delivered railway electrification to Wales.

The Silk Commission is much wider than what has been in the past, and that is to her credit. And for once, I believe she will implement whatever they recommend - NOT the case with Labour (Richards etc).

It's still not good enough as it is still so little. But compared to what the Wales Office did in the New Labour years (dragging feet, minor changes) it is quite refreshing. I also like the fact that disagreements are now out in the open - unlike in the past where WAG was stamped down by party mandrins in Transport House.

Anonymous said...

What can one say about the opinions of a woman who doesn't live in Wales, and no-one in Wales has ever voted for her?

The Tory colonialist mentality is still alive and kicking.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious because the colonial default position is that anything 'Welshie' is bound by definition to be laughable.

Never mind that we condified our law a thousand years ago under Hywel Dda and that Welsh was the administrative language of that law - not an insignificant fact as Latin was the language of law in many if not most European states of the time.


Cibwr said...

Not being tribalist, there have been (relatively) good Tory Secretaries of State, David Hunt and Peter Walker were not bad, Redwood was a disaster and Hague at least tried. Labour have had some awful ones too, George Thomas anyone? But Cheryl Gillan isn't even in the same league as Hague.

Anonymous said...


Not all British colonial governors were bad, some were relatively enlightened. I'm sure if I researched a little, I could name a couple.

Nevertheless, of the fifty or so British colonies which have gained independence since 1945, regardless of how weak or poor a condition they were left in after colonial exploitation, not one has evinced the slightest desire to return to the status quo ante.

Independence wasn't gained by licking backsides, and sucking up to the colonial masters - let the Plaid leadership hopefuls take note. In every case it had to be fought for by armed or passive struggle, or politically.

Wales was England's first colony, and is quite likely to be its last.

It's saddens me that the people of Wales aren't repulsed by having a SoS like Gillan, who has little connection with Wales, imposed by an alien Tory administration.

If the woman had any sense of decency, she would have declined the office, as she doesn't represent a Welsh constituency. It goes to prove that the entire Westminster system is unprincipled.

After centuries we've reached the point where we accept such indignities, in the belief that nothing can be done about them.

That's where we need an effective national party, and a charismatic and dynamic leader.

Hopefully Plaid will choose the right woman.

Cibwr said...

You only have to see some of the comments on the BBC Wales political blog to see the mind set of many in Wales, we are too poor, stupid, small etc for any form of self government. They see everything done in Wales in a negative light and can only see good at Westminster. For them its far better to be ruled by some one with little or no connection to Wales because they must be innately superior to anyone from Wales.

Mr. Polite said...

An interesting aspect of what she has said is that the current system has "served Wales well for centuries". That's not strictly correct. There are 18 years to go before that could be argued.

Up until 1830, Wales had its own system of courts, with territorial jurisdiction over Wales.


This was despite having no separate legislature, nor indeed (at least formally) separate laws.

The irony now is that we have a separate legislature, a developing body of distinct law, but no distinct courts with exclusive territorial jurisdiction, apart from some specialist tribunals, which hear only Welsh cases.

Cibwr said...

Indeed the Court of Great Sessions was a unique institution - uniting several court systems in one and (for part of it) over seen by the the Council of Wales and the Marches. People seem to think that post "act of union" Wales ceased to exist.

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