St David's Day - a time for positive protest
St David's Day sees Mrs Windsor and her family of scroungers turn up for another freebie at our expense. A small group of socialists and republicans will give her a warmer welcome than most.
It's the day the Senedd building is opened - the name is just another sop to those who want to believe that this is historic, when in fact it's an adminstrative change of address. Real change will only come when the people of Wales have the right to make their own laws as they see fit without outside interference or veto. That is not the case now and will not be the case under Hain's colonial-style Government for Wales Act, passed last night.
Hidden among the verbiage is a clause allowing a veto by the Wales Secretary that could prove to be very interesting in the event of a Plaid-led coalition government in Cardiff Bay or a Tory government in London. Neither are impossible in the next 10 years.
It is obvious that Welsh public opinion is ahead of the three British political parties judging from this morning's opinion poll in the Western Mail.
When asked about the political settlement they favoured, these were the responses:
16% favour total independence,
39% want full lawmaking powers,
21% want the status quo
20% want it abolished altogether
UKIP is looking to cash in on the 20% who want the Assembly abolished, who will be mainly reactionary Tories and incomers with no sympathy for or understanding of Wales. The majority for full powers or independence - 55% - should give Plaid's leadership a massive boost. They are the party clearly associated with greater powers - the British parties are seen as supporting the status quo or marginally improving the situation.
It's a question of whether Plaid, which seems to have turned a corner in recent months, can seize the time. They're kicking at an open door - Labour looks tired in London and Cardiff with jockeying to replace Rhodri and Blair. The Tories and Lib Dems in Cardiff Bay are virtually indistinguishable, having embraced devolution but nothing more. The fringe parties will do nothing.