There is an old saying that goes along the lines of if you stand in the same place long enough everyone will walk past you at least twice. The bearded one, during another largely pointless point scoring exchange between himself and TM in the House of Commons on Tuesday, described himself as a democratic socialist (with a silent unionist not thrown in for good measure).
The problem is that the bearded one's vision / version is neither that democratic or that socialist, at least from a Welsh or Scottish perspective, and neither is is particularly original, visionary or new. His vision of a democratic socialist UK which does not have a place for our national interest(s) which don't feature on the centralising statist agenda, is like something out of the mid to late 1970’s.
If it were possible to remove the Scottish parliament and the as yet not fully fledged but soon to be Welsh parliament, I am sure that JC and his ilk would not hesitate for a moment. His ilk will lay down their rhetoric for Ireland, Palestine or other deserving blue water causes and pine for a centralised British republic but remain strangely silent when it comes to Wales, Scotland or England for that matter, along with displaying spectacular perhaps Islington or metropolitan centric ignorance of devolved matters outside of the M25.
Despite the beardy spin, this is the same old centralist enemy - with the same old rebranded statist solutions - which failed to deliver last time. We, in Wales, have been here before. The centralists have promised much and delivered little that was lasting, save for a faint echo or faint ghost of long departed industrial and regional development. The underlying feature of the UK has always been that of centralism, it has never really gone away despite the roll out of devolution to redress the democratic deficit in the late 1990’s.
Post Brexit both the Conservatives and the party formerly known as New Labour will eagerly grasp the opportunity to build their vision of a new centralist union. Westminster-rule has failed to deliver for much of Wales in most of my lifetime and it appears that things are only going to get worse as Whitehall ‘Britocrats’ scramble to protect the City of London at all costs, while our manufacturers and exporters are left to wither on the wine.
If nothing else recent developments have shown how important it is that we actively resist Westminster’s attempts to roll back devolution through the Withdrawal Bill. This also shows the importance of Plaid AM Steffan Lewis’s Continuity Bill which is vital step to ensure Westminster ride rough shod over our hard-won right to run our own affairs.