Trident: not a nuclear issue like Iraq?
Monday, March 12, 2007
2 February 2006
First Minister Rhodri Morgan refuses to state his views on the Iraq war. Speaking on the BBC's Question Time programme, Mr Morgan declined to give his opinion on the Iraq war because it was an issue voted upon in Westminster, and therefore not a matter for the Welsh assembly.
11 March 2007
Education Minister Jane Davidson goes public with her opposition to renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system.
On Wednesday, the UK parliament will vote on the issue. Jane Davidson is a member of the Welsh Assembly. She cannot vote in the House of Commons.
Crucially, Mrs Davidson made the remarks with the support of the First Minister:
"I have discussed it with Rhodri. He was perfectly happy for me to make this statement today. One of the important things about Rhodri’s leadership in Wales is he does encourage people to have independent thoughts."
It seems a precedent has been set. If Trident is an issue for comment, why not Iraq?
posted by Blamerbell @ 8:04 am,
- At 10:33 am, Welsh Spin said...
Bet she didn't ask Kim Howell's permission ...
- At 2:44 pm, Marcusian said...
I think your being slightly mischevious young man...Rhodri Morgan has always been forthcoming in his opinion, even going against the New Labour grain by offering his own personal opinion (i bear witness to this when at a policy launch this year he was cornered regarding a judge passing a lighter setence because of the overcrowding in prisons)...Also i think Jane was keen to point out that she believed this a matter that was close to her heart, and nuclear weapons one of the fundamental reasons why she joined the party...The paralells you are trying to draw are skewed. Rhodri making a comment on Iraq now is not comparable to a Jane Davidson expressing her views in the DEBATE on trident. That is the crucial difference...
- At 3:19 pm, Blamerbell said...
"Rhodri making a comment on Iraq now is not comparable to a Jane Davidson expressing her views in the DEBATE on trident. That is the crucial difference..."
Er, since when is the DEBATE on Iraq over?
- At 3:49 pm, said...
didn't Rhodri Morgan say he wanted the election to be fought on Welsh issues and not become a referendum on noises off from Westminster?
- At 4:02 pm, said...
The opinion of Welsh assembly members on foreign policy issues are as relevant as the Pope's opinion was to Stalin. As the great man would put it'How many divisions has Baby Jane got?' Most welsh voters don't even know who she is.
- At 5:06 pm, Marcusian said...
Er, since when is the DEBATE on Iraq over?
That isnt what i was saying as im sure you are aware...Please tell me why Rhodri Morgan should have to comment on Iraq? He never voted on it or was involved in its implementation. Although this applies to Jane Davidson with regards trident, i just think she had a great desire with regards this issue, and as a committed party member wanted to express this. It also provided coverage regarding the issue in a welsh context, something which might not have happened had she not spoke up about it. She felt that this issue was something she WANTED to comment about, although she is not at liberty to do so. Rhodri Morgan DID NOT want to comment on Iraq, which does not have to...I mean lets be honest, why does the media want him to speak up on Iraq? Just so they can play the 'Rhodri vs. New Labour' card.
- At 5:31 pm, Blamerbell said...
anon, "didn't Rhodri Morgan say he wanted the election to be fought on Welsh issues and not become a referendum on noises off from Westminster?"
anon, 2. "The opinion of Welsh assembly members on foreign policy issues are as relevant as the Pope's opinion was to Stalin."
I'm not sure I agree. Nuclear weapons and Iraq are big issues for the Welsh public, surely they should know where their politicians stand?
Whether or not the assembly votes on these issues is irrelevant. In the next couple of months, politicians will be struggling to convince us that they are living, thinking people: 'you can trust us, we're just like you'. If that is so, they should come clean with their opinions. After all, normal people have them, and normal people expect other normal people to have them too.
- At 5:51 pm, Ted Jones said...
your totaly right Blamerbell, rhodri only uses the 'non devolved' argument as a get out clause. personally i find it amazing that the first Minister of Waels desn't have a view about the most pressing political issue of the last five years.
- At 9:49 am, Che Grav-ara said...
Marcusian your question "Please tell me why Rhodri Morgan should have to comment on Iraq?" is astonishing. Rhodri Morgan is the First Minister of Wales. Welsh Soldiers are fighting and dying in a war and you dont think he needs to comment on that? If our first minister isnt required to comment on Wales' involvment in a foreign war what exactly is the point of an elected leader!? It is astonishing how Rhodri Morgan feels it is ok to use the government to discuss britain issues that he feels promote Labour but refuses to coment on the Iraq war or Trident as a result of negative press. RM was more than happy to make use of the Bagdag Bounce back in the 2003 election.