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Former First Minister Carwyn Jones brands Westminster a ‘dictatorship’

15 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read
Former First Minister Carwyn Jones. Picture: National Assembly.

A former First Minister of Wales has branded Westminster a “dictatorship”.

Carwyn Jones, who used to be the Labour MS for Bridgend, argued that the UK Parliament is an “elective dictatorship because no citizen can challenge what” it does.

He said Westminster can “do anything it wants during the course of a parliamentary term”, which could include removing the “entire court system” or making it “illegal to travel around the UK without permission”.

Jones contrasted the system in the UK with the US which has a written constitution and where the “powers and limitations of Congress are defined”.

In an article for the National, he wrote: “In the US, the powers and limitations of Congress are defined; there is after all a written constitution there, together with a court whose job it is to interpret that constitution.

“In other countries, such as Germany or Italy, or indeed pretty much any true democracy it’s accepted that there is a set of rules that parliaments have to follow and a court to stop them when they don’t.

“In theory, Wales has a written constitution, as the structure and powers of the Senedd and Welsh Government are laid down in a series of UK Acts of Parliament and which form a kind of constitution which is subject to the oversight of the courts. Not so the UK Parliament.”

‘Free-for-all’ 

“Westminster is in effect a free-for-all. If the UK Parliament wanted to abolish the Scottish Parliament it could do so without even asking the people of Scotland.

“If it wanted to make it illegal to travel around the UK without permission, it could do so. It could even remove the entire court system and reintroduce trial by combat if it wished.

“Perhaps the last example is a bit extreme, but the point is that Westminster can do anything it wants during the course of a parliamentary term.

“Nothing can restrain it and no laws apply to it. In that sense it is indeed an elective dictatorship because no citizen can challenge what the UK Parliament does. Once a Parliament is elected, the electors are removed from the picture.”

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

Indeed!…..and that is just how The Establishment likes it.

Cymru needs to be independent and it needs to have a constitution that protects the people, the land and the water and the sky* and defines the state.

*i.e. no more training for murderous regimes that Westminster props up, how can we live in peace under a sky that is used to train men to murder?

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

With respect Carwyn, knowing this, why did you concede powers the Senedd had to Theresa Mays Gov. when you were in power. You knew they were able to shut down the Senedd, but to do so without the consent of the people of Wales, would lead to uproar. And yet you handed over to her the ability to meddle in our affairs, legally. Ok she promised not harm our country, but as our clergy have said recently, never trust a Tory.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

I think it is because of that old mantra:-

If you have the FM by the balls, his heart and soul will follow.

Geraint
Geraint
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Look at what happened to Scotland where powers were moved to Westminster without agreement. What Wales tried to do was have an agreement in place for the powers coming back from Europe and how they would be dealt with. Unfortunately, Boris Johnson broke the deal that Westminster had with the Welsh Government.

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Let the little englanders try and shut down the democratically elected senedd and see what would happen

Last edited 1 month ago by George Bodley
Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago

I am very interested to hear Carwyn open up more about the kinds of way that Westminster imposes pressure on the devolved governments.

So often, the Welsh Government has appeared to be soft pedalling in the face of Westminster aggression, or acting against the wishes and interests of the Welsh people.

Why? What kinds of pressure does the First Minister experience?

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Well….. their wives want to wear silly hats at Palace garden parties.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
1 month ago

The powers which he ascribes to Parliament are, in fact, controlled by the government – which holds Parliament in contempt.

Once a government has selected itself, the MPs are removed from the picture.

Frennifawr
Frennifawr
1 month ago

Am pleased that Carwyn Jones has begun an open debate re: the way Westminster operates under the Tories. We have reason to be very worried. The Conservatives are now a party that have no moral compass. This is a very dangerous position to be in. They have no respect for democratic norms and are hell bent on pushing through their own ideological agenda, regardless of the damage they will do to Britain, both internally and internationally. I feel sorry for England as they will be lumbered with these nasty yobs for decades to come – the English Labour party is… Read more »

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Frennifawr

England and regions of England are also able to seek independence from the Union.

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Sooner the better keep out of the welsh politics

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Frennifawr

You cannot work together, yet. You also need us conservatives. That is the whole purpose of Yes Cymru. Any alliance, seeking socialism and trying to carry us along, will fail. It has to be a unified movement with a the unified goal of independence.
After that, be our guest.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

You could support Gwlad the party instead of the Consevatives.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  David

I said conservatives, not The Conservatives, sorry to mislead. Yes, Gwlad are sort of conservative, but we all need the one boat YES Cymru?

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Good point, we need all of the parties in Wales working together for Indy. The only problem we have, as far as your side is concerned, is the utter tripe we have seen Tory MS’s spout recently in articles regarding more union jacks, don’t call the UK four countries etc and continued attacks on the Senedd by Tory MP’s and people like Hart. It would seem from this, that all the conservative party wants to do is destroy the Senedd. Please can you shout louder , so we know you are with us and not all of you want us… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

I think it best if I start writing Christian Democrat, though there have been complaints about that description also.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Exactly but is there a centre right party in wales that supports independence?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

I think Gwlad fit that category, but I’m sceptical of the validity of the terms “right” and “left” in regard to the independence movement. We’re all on the same side, as J Humphrys implies, irrespective of what kind of post-colonial economy an independent Cymru should adopt.

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago

Centre party you having a laugh you know what was said those in the middle of the road get run over

Mavis
Mavis
1 month ago

Can we not get him commited he’s gone Mad it’s not mad George but bonkers Boris

Dr Keith Darlington
Dr Keith Darlington
1 month ago

It’s an elected dictatorship but why Carwyn Jones did you never address the root cause – I.e., the First Past the Post voting system? Isn’t it because there’s a lesser version of it in the Senedd which kept your party in Wales in absolute power on 35% vote share?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

Well said Carwyn Jones. I just wish that all Westminster politicians were willing to listen.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

He is right and under ‘normal’ circumstances UK governments have generally acted within acceptable boundaries. However, the current lot are acting ruthlessly and ignoring those boundaries in so many areas, from trying to crush devolution to ignoring signed international treaties, it has shown us all the UK needs a written constitution. It won’t happen and that is another reason why we must leave this corrupt Union ASAP.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
1 month ago

Jones knows all this – yet as recently as last october he attacked welsh independence and was parading his staunch unionist credentials when seeking election to uk labour’s nec. Stockholm syndrome i think they call it ☹️https://www.google.com/amp/s/labourlist.org/2020/10/exclusive-interview-with-labour-nec-welsh-rep-candidate-carwyn-jones/%3famp

Shan Morgain
1 month ago

Broadly Carwyn is right but there are pressures and restraints. For example Tory MPs want to be re-elected to the gravy train so will challenge policies that seriously attack their own Individual constituencies. On some issues they club together. Secondly we do have the power of the courts especially the Good Law Project which has held the Tories to account very successfully. Thirdly the big business corporations will threaten to hold their funding if certain policies go ahead and damage their business. Finally some campaigns and media pressure does have an effect. So the Tories don’t have a clear run… Read more »

Doctor Trousers
Doctor Trousers
1 month ago

I came to Wales from Scotland as a ready made, pro-independence, Plaid Cymru voter, and I will likely continue to vote Plaid in both Westminster and Senedd elections.
Nonetheless, I must concede that Welsh Labour leaders, both past and present, do seem to be a breed apart from those in Westminster and Holyrood.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

England will never be a proper grown-up society until they disestablish the Church of England, write a constitution and fix the second chamber.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Is it only now that Carwyn Jones thinks this of Westminster? Bit too late.

Pity he never fell for the old Tory trick of hollow promises & assurances when he repealed the devolution bill protecting effectively the sovereignty of our Senedd.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Carwyn, I cannot honestly say that was ever your biggest fan but thanks for saying that out loud.

I listened to Baron Hoyle for a couple of minutes just now and had to mute the telly but his mouth kept moving and I just thought if only you had given Fat Shanks and Ms Patel the same rocks the news might have been different tonight…

Grayham Jones
1 month ago

The Labour Party A’s been a disgrace to wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 specially in valleys of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 they should have been fighting for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 year ago now is the time to start fighting for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh

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