Negative talk

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Rhodri Morgan, a former first minister of Wales, made a most unhelpful, not to say facile, contribution to the debate about the constitution (your report, 14 December).

It is simply wrong and outdated to talk of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as the “Celts”. These are heterogeneous countries with populations who originate not just from other parts of the United Kingdom but also Europe and the world. Indeed, the outcome of the referendum next September may well depend on how that section of voters – possibly as much as 750,000 – decides to vote.

Even in terms of population statistics, his argument is difficult to sustain. A fairly radical – though not strong enough – scheme of devolution exists here, in Wales and across the Irish Sea. This is despite these three countries forming only 17 per cent of the population of the UK.

Wales voted only by the narrowest of margins in 1997 for a limited degree of autonomy. But it is in the hands of the electorate there as to how much more it wants. It may only make up 5 per cent of the rest of the United Kingdom if Scotland becomes independent, but even a Conservative government would find it difficult to thwart a clearly expressed wish for greater autonomy. Mr Morgan’s talents would be better used in urging Labour to embrace stronger devolution, rather than dismissing the political set up in Wales and elsewhere in such a derogatory way.

Bob Taylor

Shiel Court Glenrothes, Fife