Friday, 30 October 2009

The Hain Settlement – Constitutional Barnett Formula

I am not alone, I know, in finding the Secretary of State’s stance on the LCO system astounding. The LCO construct, which was not recommended by the Richard Commission, was a Heath-Robinson (Hain-Morgan) construct to get the Labour Party out of a hole.

Reading the Secretary of State’s views now, and listening to his claims, one could be forgiven for believing that elements within the Labour Party see this as a sort of constitutional Barnett formula to be with us for many a year. Alas the Barnett formula without the rough justice and simplicity that that formula at least offers.

Originally we were sold this ‘pup’ as an interim arrangement. Now it seems that some arrangements are more interim than others.

Whilst Wales certainly faces key challenges, not least because of the economic mess that exists and the challenge to our country and our planet from climate change, it is clear that the Labour Party is changing its stance on the LCO system, or is it just a matter of parental pride on the part of the Secretary of State?

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