Monday, 5 October 2009

Language law

Almost from the first, Westminster has frustrated the right of the National Assembly to make laws[Measures] on the the Welsh Language. But tomorrow could see a break through. The Legislative Competence Order[LCO] may finally emerge from the murky corridors of Westminster and Whitehall. Then the fun and games will begin when the National Assembly starts to use its new powers.
I'm sure that, even as I write, Cymdeithas yr Iaith[The Welsh Language Society] are getting their banners and placards ready for the first skirmish on a Language Measure.

The LCO will be laid before the National Assembly sometime after the Welsh Grand Committee debate the issue on 14 October. Quite why the Welsh Grand are involved, as they have no formal role in the legislative process, remains a mystery.
What is beyond dispute is that Assembly Members have been turned over by MPs on this LCO as on so many others. Instead of sticking to their role of adjudicating on the principle of an LCO the Welsh Affairs committee of the House of Commons have gone further. They have insisted on the LCO containing details that should be in Measures. Welsh MPs are again trying to micro-manage what the National Assembly does. This constitutional nonsense will have to be sorted sooner or later. The process is neither straightforward, transparent and in these straightened times economic.

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