Thursday, 13 January 2011

Body parts

In the event of my sad demise I do hope that an unseemly row doesn't break out as to what should happen to my organs - provided that is that they are worth harvesting, of course.

Peace and harmony is certainly not the case at the conception of the law making process for organ donation.

The story so far is that the Assembly want the power to pass a law that assumes that Welsh people don't mind  the harvesting of organs from their dead bodies unless of course they expressly forbid it. Whilst they're alive of course!

Now all was preceding nicely. The Assembly  had consulted widely. Of those consulted, the majority   gave it the thumbs up sign. So all was fine and dandy, until yesterday.

What happened yesterday, you ask? The Assembly were in the process of kicking off the legislative process and mid debate  an e-mail arrived to the computer of the Health Secretary Edwina Hart.

The author of said our hapless Secretary of State, Cheryl Gillan letting it be known that the Attorney General wasn't happy that the Assembly had the power to push ahead.

Apparently it wasn't a health matter but a human rights matter and as such, not a devolved matter.

Dear, oh dear, you can imagine the reaction of the Assembly, sufficient to say they were not happy little bunnies.

The farce continued with Cheryl Gillan first of all denying on the BBC that she had sponsored a failed Private Members bill along the same lines.  Later she had to apologize ,  she had  simply forgotten.

Politicians being politicians seeing a band wagon they just couldn't resist getting on it. In no time at all  press notices were been issued by the parties, faster than Cardiff traffic wardens issue parking tickets.

The theme of many of these notices,  that a 'yes' vote in the March referendum would stop such nonsenses.

But would it? Unlikely.

Ambiguity will still abound as to whether an issue was  devolved or not. In the mantra of all constitutional lawyers  'where there is clarity let me bring confusion.' In such disputes  it would be 'my learned friend' that would decide.

Indeed not only will lawyers  be making a killing on these issues but without a revising chamber  for the Assembly they must be rubbing their hands in anticipation of the pay day that will undoubtedly come.
Disputes  from the unicameral Assembly  will surely abound, after all, no  legislative body is perfect.   Despite the best brains in Wales sitting in the Assembly there will be occasions when they'll  err in their legislative duties.

The answer surely lies with the Gorsedd of bards. They should have an enhanced new role as our second chamber. After all if you can play around with strict metre, looking at Welsh Laws would be child's play.

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