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Wales’ indy movement not ‘anything like Scotland’ says member of Labour constitutional commission

10 Jun 2022 4 minutes Read
Lord Murphy of Torfaen. Picture by Roger Harris (CC BY 3.0). Right, Welsh independence march: Picture by Lluniau Lleucu.

Wales’ independence movement is not “anything like what is happening in Scotland” according to a member of Labour’s constitutional commission.

Paul Murphy, Baron Murphy of Torfaen, is a member of a commission set up by party leader Kir Starmer and led by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to “to settle the future of the union”.

Speaking in the House of Lords, the former secretary of State for Wales said that he was “not tempted by independence for Wales”.

“I agree with him that there is a movement which goes towards that direction, but by no means anything like what is happening in Scotland,” he said.

He did however note that over the years, intergovernmental relations had gone from bad to worse.

“The Whitehall departments still do not quite understand what devolution is all about,” he said. “I sometimes think some government Ministers are ignorant of what devolution is all about, although the landscape has in fact changed dramatically.”

He also noted that he had given evidence to the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, chaired by Professor Laura McAllister and Dr Rowan Williams.

UK Government Minister Lord Greenhalgh responded that The Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, and Neil O’Brien MP, Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, had also given evidence to that commission.

“We are looking forward to heading its findings in due course,” he said.

Responding to the debate, he said: “I take issue with the idea that there is an aggressive form of unionism.

“This Government are really committed to strengthening the union of the United Kingdom, protecting and promoting its combined strengths and the values that we all share, and ensuring that the institutions of the United Kingdom are used to benefit people in every part of the country, building on hundreds of years of partnership and a shared history since the Acts of Union.

“We are also great believers in devolution, and that it allows communities across the four nations to reap the benefits of the broad shoulders of the union, while benefiting from decisions being placed closest to those who they affect.”

‘Britannic confederation’

The debate on the ned for a Constitutional Commission for the United Kingdom was sponsored by former Plaid Cymru MP Lord Dafydd Wigley.

“With the reunification of Ireland and a pro-independence vote in Scotland at least possibilities, where does that leave Wales?” he asked.

“Although Wales currently has no majority for independence, the departure of Scotland and Northern Ireland might well change attitudes.

“With these scenarios at least a possibility—some say a probability—I ask the Government whether they intend to sit back and let events dictate policy, as happened with Ireland a century ago, or should there be serious study of alternative models for the post-independence relationship of the nations of these islands?

“Some colleagues, particularly on the Liberal Democrat Benches, favour a federal constitution for the United Kingdom, but would this be a federation of four nations each with parity, leaving England outvoted by the other three, or weighted by population, leaving the others always outvoted by England? If it were based on English regions, Wales and Scotland would hardly warm to such a status.

“Another model makes more sense to me: a confederal approach, in which sovereignty of the three nations and the Province is acknowledged, but they pool their sovereignty for certain purposes—for example, the recognition of the Queen as the head of a Britannic confederation. Plaid Cymru and the SNP currently accept the monarchy as the Head of State, recognising a Britannic dimension to our identity as well as our own national identity.

“Secondly, there might be an acceptance of sterling as the currency and a reconstituted Bank of England acting as a central bank for a confederation. Thirdly, there is scope for defence co-operation. The SNP supports an independent Scotland being part of NATO, though this is obviously complicated by the question of nuclear weapons. There is surely a pragmatic solution to enable defence co-operation.”


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SundanceKid
SundanceKid
26 days ago

Of course he doesn’t!

As a Starmer quisling and a member of the antiquated English feudal system, the current arrangement suits him very well!

Not sure how a “Lord” can relate to the experiences of most ordinary Welsh people on this matter either, so I don’t think he is qualified to speak on our behalf.

Craig Ab Iago
Craig Ab Iago
24 days ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

What would he even know about the subject out with what he’s read in the papers?

Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
26 days ago

So what else do you expect from “Lord” Murphy?
As they say: wake up and smell the coffee!

Richard
Richard
26 days ago

Murpjy, Kinnock and the eastern valley Labour chums were hardly Devo cheer leaders in 1979 onwards I remember Paul Flynn a fellow Lab Gwent MP of Irish ☘️ heritage lamenting their views and how they tried always to slow things down

Cymru Cymraeg
Cymru Cymraeg
26 days ago

This is encouraging from Lord Murphy as he was fearsly opposed to any form of devolution prior to1997! At least he is now accepting of it as a process!

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
26 days ago
Reply to  Cymru Cymraeg

What other choice does he have other than to accept it?

Paul
Paul
26 days ago

It does not need to be ‘the same’. It just needs to have the same outcome.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
26 days ago

It’s great that these unionists are dismissing Welsh independence prospects and so often. The look of surprise they’ll give when independence arrives will be something to enjoy.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
26 days ago

“Speaking in the House of Lords, the former secretary of State for Wales said that he was “not tempted by independence for Wales”.”

Don’t you just love open-minded, unprejudiced Unionists?

Quornby
Quornby
26 days ago

I AM tempted by independence. Murphy just wants subsidised House of Lords dinners. Another cheap Vidkun.

Last edited 26 days ago by Quornby
The Original Mark
The Original Mark
26 days ago

But he’s right, the difference between the two independence movements is pretty big, we have a long long way to go before we catch up with Scotland. At the moment we can’t even get the only Welsh party that stands for independence elected to control the Senedd and it’s no good thinking Labour will bring us independence unless they breakaway from the English lead party, I know this will get down voted but it’s the way I see it

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
26 days ago

The crunch will only come when more and more people want independence and realise Labour is not going to deliver on it anytime soon. At the moment they are just playing to the gallery and saying all the right things without promising anything in return.

Last edited 26 days ago by SundanceKid
The Original Mark
The Original Mark
26 days ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

exactly, and Starmer is no fan of devolution either.

Craig Ab Iago
Craig Ab Iago
24 days ago

Not every route to independence is the same. Scotland might be run by their independence party but there’s still no majority for it in the country. One more failed referendum and they are in trouble. All we need is the Tories to get in in England again (and if they get rid of BJ there’s a very real chance of that happening) and the Labour party in Wales run out of alternatives. They’re holding out for a Labour government in Wales and England in order to create a Labour unionist hegemony. If that doesn’t happen soon, they run the real… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
26 days ago

Interesting bedfellows Baron Murphy, and Gordon Brown, cheerleader of the Unionists and Tory group opposed to Scottish indy movement. Well, is it any surprise that Murphy would talk down the aspirations of Cymru, he wouldn’t be where he is today if he was, In any way, fighting for a better Cymru.

Gareth
Gareth
26 days ago

And another thing, Murphy was also aligned with the quizling Kim Howells, who during the devolution campaign, claimed, during the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, that a vote for devolution would result in the “Balkanisation” of Cymru, insinuating devolution would result in bloodshed. We must never let these people forget the words they said, or endorsed. Old Labour unionists.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
26 days ago

So champagne socialist Lord Paul Murphy, who I might add has done more for Northern Ireland than he’s ever for Wales, states that he’s luke warm to the idea of Wales being afforded even the basic right to hold an independence referenda, the same right afforded to Scotland in 2014 in his evidence to this sham kangaroo commission. And still he & UK Labour scratch their heads and wonders why Scotland rejected Labour in favour of the SNP who beare again are on the brink of a second independence referenda after all the lies and false promises he and others… Read more »

Last edited 26 days ago by Y Cymro
Gill Jones
Gill Jones
26 days ago

Come out on Sunday to support Yes Cymru as we make our presence known at our rallies on Welsh beaches. Annybyniaeth, ymlaen a ni – rydym ‘yma o hyd’!

Llinos
Llinos
26 days ago

Hmmm … why would “BARON” Torfaen diminish the standing of the Independence for Cymru movement?
Why would the Ermine clad, ennobled servant of Her Majesty think that we are less deserving of independence than, say, somewhere that DOESN’T feature in his title?
But no. Why, I am positively certain that there is no conflict of interest, or dirty rotten stitch-up by Unionist lackeys happening here. I’m sure it’s entirely unbiased and not at all the opinions of a genuflecting belly crawler trying to save his station and pucker up to the Royal Unionist rump

Last edited 26 days ago by Llinos
George
George
25 days ago

It’s not like Scotland’s path but we can learn from Scotland: people care about their immediate futures as well as longer term ideals. This includes the economy and having good answers (and back-up plans) for any change in relationship, it’s a change in relationship rather than a complete break. This should help ease the divisiveness seen in SNP’s campaign or bitterness of Brexit, It’s not about one individual but everyone together, It might come in several small stages but each stage making Wales more confident and capable of being independent is a victory even if independence is not seen within… Read more »

Quornby
Quornby
25 days ago

We’ll never forget the “for Wales see Labour” crew of Quislings. Yes you know who you are, you bl**dy gang of careerists.

arthur owen
25 days ago

I see,the usual mob attacking Paul Murphy rather than addressing his arguments.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
25 days ago

Don’t worry Mr Murphy. We will make you proud of your nation yet and rescue you from subservience. When Scotland becomes independent, you watch it take off here and be mindful of how humiliating it would be for the long established NATION of Wales to be beaten by a region of England going independent before us because of this kind of nonsense narrative talking Wales down.

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