Friday 21 April 2017

Continuing Gwynoro's life story 1969 -70

Days as Research and PR Officer Wales 1969/70 and relationship with senior Labour party people;

Chair of Working Group to prepare party evidence to the Crowther/Kilbrandon Commission;

Struggles inside the party in Wales over devolution and more particularly the Welsh group of MPs;

Relationship with Harold Wilson and interaction with George Thomas;

Describes meetings with George Thomas at his home in Heath, Cardiff;

How he became to be thought of as the 'enemy within'.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Gwynoro at Welsh Labour’s Constitution Convention

A constitutional question to Gordon Brown…

On Wednesday 29th March 2017, the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones AM, the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the leader of Scottish Labour Kezia Dugdale MSP, and former Deputy Prime Minister Lord John Prescott, came together to discuss the future of the United Kingdom in an event held by the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University.

It was an occasion which I was keen to attend for many reasons, both political and personal. In the first instance one of my first tasks when appointed Research and Public Relations Officer for the Labour Party in Wales in 1969 was to chair a working group charged to develop the party’s policy towards devolution. Then together with Emrys Jones and Gwyn Morgan prepare the party’s evidence to the Crowther/Kilbrandon Commission on the Constitution. In fact our submission was essentially the forerunner of the Welsh Assembly established 30 years later!

Then it is my long held view that in order to advance the cause of further devolution in the coming years central to that is for the Labour Party to get its act together in relation to its future proposals for the future of the UK Union. Whatever one’s view is of the Wilson and Blair Governments it was those administrations that moved forward considerably the devolution process in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

However Brexit changes everything and unless the Labour and Lib Dems in particular are alert to the changing political climate they could easily be overtaken by events as can the Westminster establishment.l This is why I am happy to support the movement Yes Cymru

During the meeting, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask Gordon Brown about his thoughts on the UK’s constitutional future—inevitably sharing a few thoughts of my own in the process—a video excerpt of which I include here .

Video of the whole proceedings

The Western Mail also produced a useful write-up of the afternoon which is worth a read …

Lord David Owen, Gwynoro Jones, Lord Elystan Morgan and Glyndwr Cennydd Jones share thoughts on the UK Union and the need for a Constitutional Convention before the Carwyn Jones and Gordon Brown meeting.