West Lothian and the Tryweryn Question
We're frequently reminded of the "West Lothian Question", the situation whereby Welsh and Scottish MPs are allowed to vote on issues relevant to West Bromwich but not West Lothian (as Tam Dalyell so succinctly put it back in 1979).
It's a question that's never been properly answered during the devolution debate and growing powers for the Assembly make it even more absurd that Welsh MPs can vote on health and education matters, for example, that affect English constituencies but don't impact on their own voters.
This is often cited by English nationalists, usually in opposition to devolution. But there is less publicity given to what could be termed "the Tryweryn question".
Back in pre-devolution days, Liverpool Corporation's desire for water (mainly to supply industries that are now long gone) led it to Tryweryn, near Bala. An Act of Parliament was needed to permit the damming of the valley and the drowning of a Welsh community, Capel Celyn.
35 of the 36 Welsh MPs voted against the move but it was passed with the help of English MPs who knew nothing about the community they were voting to destroy.
Not surprisingly, the symbolic nature of the drowning of Capel Celyn in the 1960s still resonates among nationally minded people in Wales.
The manifest injustice then should not be perpetuated now. Welsh MPs should not vote on issues solely for England. There is therefore a clear case for a reduction of Welsh MPs in Westminster because the bulk of decision making on day-to-day matters in Wales takes place in Cardiff.
The savings made by reducing the numbers of MPs should be put towards increasing the numbers of AMs who can therefore scrutinise and hold the Assembly government to account more fully.
We have half-and-half a democracy at the moment, with neither half functioning properly.