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Bourne: Queen's Speech offers more of the same from Labour

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"I thank the First Minister for his introduction. He seemed to be less glowing, less fulsome and less ardent about the new system of draft Orders in Council than the Secretary of State was. Although the Secretary of State painted a picture of them joined at the hip and marching together towards the sound of gunfire, it did not seem that the First Minister was entirely happy with that position.

I am not surprised, because I well remember him saying how proud he was of the Richard commission's report, how proud he was of his nation, and how it represented the way forward. This lunchtime, I was reading an article by the Secretary of State in the Bevan Foundation Review in which he says that that report is flawed in fundamental respects—so, it seems that they do not agree. Indeed, Lord Richard has been critical of the unstable nature of the settlement in this Bill, and he is not wrong; it is a fragile settlement, which we know from the Secretary of State's indication that he would exercise his powers of veto with regard to certain draft Orders in Council.

I can, therefore, understand why the First Minister was less glowing, less fulsome and less ardent about this procedure—perhaps he will enlarge on why he was once in favour of Lord Richard's report, hook, line and sinker, but is now seemingly not.

Let me correct you, because things have been left out. First, in his article in the Bevan Foundation Review, the Secretary of State talks about moving to legislative powers without a referendum—that is left out. He also talks about the electoral proposals, and they are certainly not the electoral proposals in the legislation. I hate to contradict you, but you are clearly wrong. I remember well what you said, and I notice that you did not distance yourself from your remarks.

However, you now indicate that you have moved, and that you said something quite different when the report was published. Lord Richard clearly feels that that report is the way forward—and bear in mind that, as a Labour peer, he was Labour leader in the Lords, so it took some courage to criticise what his own party has done.

Turning to the Queen's Speech itself, I will deal with some of the omissions from it. First, with regard to making St David's Day a public holiday, all Members are committed to that, either exchanging it for an existing public holiday or as a new one should there be new holidays throughout the United Kingdom. This matter has dropped off the radar entirely, and it is not, of course, something that can be dealt with in draft Orders in Council, because it is without the devolution settlement. That is a sad omission.

Turning to two of the more important Bills that I have mentioned previously, the First Minister, perhaps making a Freudian slip, said he could not think of anything less important than the Climate Change Bill—I think that he meant 'more important'. Having said that, I have drawn the First Minister's attention to the deficiencies in the Bill in questions, but he appears not to see the need for an independent body to monitor climate change.

There is a need for such a body to do that monitoring. He does not recognise the need for clear annual targets either, but there is such a need. Our record is not convincing and, indeed, he did not know what our record is; we have gone backwards since 1997. We need annual targets and we need an independent body to monitor them.

On mental health, we on this side of the Chamber are keen on that, and we look forward to a Welsh mental health Bill—at least, I certainly do—to shift the emphasis away from criminal law towards therapy, but that is not what the measure in this Queen's Speech does.

Above all, this Queen's Speech represents the fag-end of Tony Blair's time as Prime Minister. There is no doubt that this is his last Queen's Speech—I see Members on the Government benches shaking their heads; perhaps they want him to carry on, but he has indicated that this is his last Queen's Speech.

It represents a massive diet of more law and order measures when we have already had as many as 60 in his time as Prime Minister, which have not answered the challenges on the law-and-order front, and he has not measured up to some of the things that he promised in opposition. The Governments at Westminster and Cardiff are running out of steam, running out of ideas and, as I said, running out of time."

"Diolchaf i'r Prif Weinidog am ei gyflwyniad. Yr oedd yn ymddangos yn llai gwresog, llai gwenieithus a llai brwd ynglyn â'r system newydd o Orchmynion drafft yn y Cyfrin Gyngor nag oedd yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol. Er bod yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol yn creu delwedd ohonynt yn gwbl gytûn ac yn gorymdeithio gyda'i gilydd i gyfeiriad swn y drylliau, nid yw'n ymddangos bod y Prif Weinidog yn gwbl hapus gyda'r sefyllfa honno. Nid wyf yn synnu, oherwydd mae gennyf gof da ohono'n dweud pa mor falch ydoedd o adroddiad comisiwn Richard, pa mor falch ydoedd o'i genedl, ac mai dyma oedd y ffordd ymlaen. Amser cinio heddiw, yr oeddwn yn darllen erthygl gan yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol yn y Bevan Foundation Review lle dywed bod agweddau sylfaenol o'r adroddiad hwnnw'n ddiffygiol—felly, fe ymddengys, nid ydynt yn gytûn. Yn wir, mae'r Arglwydd Richard wedi bod yn feirniadol o natur ansefydlog y setliad yn y Mesur hwn, ac nid yw'n anghywir; mae'n setliad bregus, a gwyddom hynny o awgrym yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol y byddai'n defnyddio ei bwerau i roi feto yn achos rhai Gorchmynion drafft yn y Cyfrin Gyngor. Gallaf, felly, ddeall pam fod y Prif Weinidog yn llai gwresog, llai gwenieithus a llai brwd ynglyn â'r weithdrefn hon—efallai y bydd yn barod i ymhelaethu pam ei fod o blaid adroddiad yr Arglwydd Richard ar un adeg, pob gair a chymal ohono, ond ymddengys nad yw hynny mor wir bellach.

Gadewch imi eich cywiro, oherwydd mae pethau wedi eu hepgor. Yn gyntaf, yn ei erthygl yn y Bevan Foundation Review, mae'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol yn sôn am symud at bwerau deddfu heb gynnal refferendwm—mae hynny wedi ei hepgor. Mae'n sôn hefyd am y cynigion etholiadol, ac yn sicr nid dyna'r cynigion etholiadol a geir yn y ddeddfwriaeth. Mae'n gas gennyf eich gwrth-ddweud, ond mae'n amlwg eich bod yn anghywir. Cofiaf yn dda yr hyn a ddywedasoch, a sylwaf nad ydych wedi gwadu eich sylwadau. Fodd bynnag, yr ydych yn awgrymu yn awr bod eich safbwynt wedi newid, a'ch bod wedi dweud rhywbeth tra gwahanol pan gyhoeddwyd yr adroddiad. Mae'r Arglwydd Richard yn amlwg yn teimlo mai'r adroddiad hwnnw yw'r ffordd ymlaen—a chofiwch ei fod, fel arglwydd Llafur, yn arweinydd y Blaid Lafur yn Nhy'r Arglwyddi, felly yr oedd angen cryn ddewrder i feirniadu'r hyn y mae ei blaid ei hun wedi ei wneud.

Gan droi at Araith y Frenhines ei hun, yr wyf am ymdrin â rhai o'r pethau nad oedd wedi eu cynnwys ynddi. Yn gyntaf, o ran gwneud Dydd Gwyl Dewi'n wyliau cyhoeddus, mae pob Aelod wedi ymrwymo i hynny, un ai i'w gyfnewid am un o'r gwyliau cyhoeddus cyfredol neu fel un newydd pe ceid gwyliau newydd ledled y Deyrnas Unedig. Mae'r mater hwn wedi colli ei le'n llwyr, ac nid yw, wrth gwrs, yn rhywbeth y gellid ymdrin ag ef mewn Gorchmynion drafft yn y Cyfrin Gyngor, oherwydd ei fod heb y setliad datganoli. Mae hyn yn fater trist.

Gan droi at ddau o'r Mesurau pwysicaf yr wyf wedi eu crybwyll eisoes, dywedodd y Prif Weinidog, gan wneud llithriad Freudaidd o bosibl, na allai feddwl am unrhyw beth llai pwysig na'r Mesur Newid Hinsawdd—credaf mai 'mwy pwysig' yr oedd yn ei olygu. Wedi dweud hynny, yr wyf wedi tynnu sylw'r Prif Weinidog at y diffygion yn y Mesur yn ystod cwestiynau'r Prif Weinidog, ond ymddengys nad yw'n gweld yr angen am gorff annibynnol i fonitro newid yn yr hinsawdd. Mae angen corff o'r fath i wneud y gwaith monitro hwnnw. Nid yw'n cydnabod yr angen am dargedau blynyddol pendant ychwaith, ond mae angen amdanynt. Nid yw ein record yn un sy'n argyhoeddi ac, yn wir, ni wyddai beth oedd ein record; yr ydym wedi mynd yn ôl er 1997. Mae angen targedau blynyddol arnom ac mae angen corff annibynnol arnom i'w monitro.

O ran iechyd meddwl, yr ydym ni ar yr ochr yma o'r Siambr yn frwd ynglyn â hynny, ac edrychwn ymlaen at Fesur iechyd meddwl i Gymru—o leiaf, yr wyf i yn sicr yn edrych ymlaen—er mwyn symud y pwyslais oddi ar gyfraith droseddol a thuag at therapi, ond nid dyna'r hyn y mae'r mesur yn Araith y Frenhines yn ei wneud.

Yn fwy na dim, mae'r Araith y Frenhines hon yn cynrychioli diwedd cyfnod Tony Blair fel Prif Weinidog. Nid oes amheuaeth mai hon yw ei Araith y Frenhines olaf—gwelaf Aelodau ar feinciau'r Llywodraeth yn ysgwyd eu pennau; efallai eu bod am ei weld yn dal ati, ond mae wedi dweud mai hon fydd yr Araith y Frenhines olaf iddo fel Prif Weinidog. Mae'n cynrychioli ymborth trwm o fwy fyth o fesurau cyfraith a threfn a ninnau eisoes wedi cael cymaint â 60 yn ystod ei gyfnod fel Prif Weinidog, ond nad ydynt wedi llwyddo i fynd i'r afael â phroblemau cyfraith a threfn, ac nid yw ychwaith wedi cyflawni rhai o'r pethau yr oedd wedi eu haddo pan oedd yn yr wrthblaid. Mae Llywodraethau San Steffan a Chaerdydd yn colli stêm, yn rhedeg allan o syniadau ac, fel y dywedais, yn rhedeg allan o amser."

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