Labour’s long grass inquiry

[This article originally appeared on our Facebook page]

AWAY from the public gaze, a coronavirus political dogfight is in motion in Cardiff Bay.

The dogfight concerns the terms of any public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus in Wales.

A public inquiry is an excellent idea, but unfortunately, it’s already degenerated into political posturing ahead of next year’s Senedd elections.

Labour, predictably, want to kick it into the long grass, proposing no report until after the Senedd elections next May.

Let’s not have any public scrutiny before that all important vote, eh Mark?

The Tories, for their own selfish reasons, want the report to be published next Spring, ahead of the election.

And Plaid are now calling for a ‘synopsis’ before the election. Which is a slightly odd position to take, because a few weeks ago, they were calling for a full inquiry report.

Cynics out there might suggest they been leant on to take such a watered-down position, with promises of goodies to come.

Some people might argue that delivering a public inquiry is impossible, timewise, before the election.

Even so, the coronavirus and the response to it has been perhaps the most important event to occur in Wales since devolution.

It’s achieved more than anything else over 20 years to make devolution a reality in the minds of the people of Wales.

And a fast-growing reality in perceptions across the border as well.

With such an awakened public out there, there will surely be a huge appetite for relevant information and insights into how exactly the coronavirus crisis was handled here in Wales.

Is it right and proper to expect them to choose a new government for 5 years, without this information to hand?

Information required so that people can make their own judgements on proceedings and how to move forward.

At present, people are generally supportive of the Welsh Government’s stance on the coronavirus.

But that goodwill could easily peter out, if people think that Labour want to avoid any real analysis of their handling of the crisis, until they are safely ensconced in power again for 5 years.

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