Pushing Wales off the news agenda

I had a phone call earlier today asking me to go on Radio 5 Live’s ‘Drive Time’ programme to talk about the report of the All Wales Convention.  I was happy to agree, and glad that implementation of the King Review meant that the BBC on a UK-wide level was taking Wales, and Welsh devolution, seriously.

Just as I was about to walk into the studio, I got a call from the producer saying that they wanted to talk about the Calman Commission instead – the limited reference to implementing it in the Queen’s Speech, and criticism of that by the Scottish Government.  Given the criticisms of both the Calman process and the Calman report – covered in full in its reponse – this is no wonder.  Essentially this is a London story – a lame UK Government position, partly justifiable for practical reasons given the complexity of implementing the Calman tax recommendations (but only partly), and an off-the-peg SNP response – with little genuinely new in it.  By contrast, of course, the All Wales Convention report is new and important, particularly for Wales but for the UK as a whole as well.

I’m happy to talk about Calman, its strengths and weaknesses, and Scottish constitutional debates at pretty much any time, and did so.  But it’s telling that what’s really a non-story with a bit of superficial novelty to it can derail more serious consideration of other aspects of devolution.



Filed under Calman Commission/Scotland bill, Media issues, Scotland, SNP, Wales

4 responses to “Pushing Wales off the news agenda

  1. MH

    Alan, I’m very pleased to have come across this blog. I found it from a link on Cymru Yfory. I’m embarrassed that it slipped under my radar.

    Not many in the Welsh political blogosphere have you on their blogrolls. But I’ve put you on Syniadau’s.


  2. How much publicity was spent on the All Wales Convention? Advertising etc!



    You are right to deplore the subordination of Welsh constitutional debate to Scottish. Wales is important in its own right; ann it is a shame when the London media see it as a kind of lesser Scotland, not so troublesome and therefore not so interesting.

    And Wales needs a better sense of its own constitutional story: not just Scotland-lite, but Welsh centred and – here’s the challenge – speaking to the whole of Wales.

    By the way, talking of Scotland, it’s a bit harsh to speak of the Government’s response to Calman as lame, when it has yet even to limp on to the scene. Unless perhaps you have seen it already….

  4. Pingback: The Welsh referendum: the BBC misinforming the public? « Devolution Matters

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