Chapter 1 in People, Places and Policy: Knowing contemporary Wales through new localities, pp 1-14
It is uncontested that Wales has a relatively short history of administrative devolution when compared to Scotland and Northern Ireland, if not England (see Osmond, 1978). Jenkins’s cutting analysis makes some of this clear:
After its conquest by Edward I in 1278, and its incorporation into England three centuries later by the Tudors, it had no governmental existence; it was 13 counties of ‘England and Wales’. In 1965, as a sop to Welsh sentiment, Harold Wilson set up a Welsh Office with its own secretary of state; I remember hearing it described as the ‘colonial office for Wales’. Then, in 1997, came Tony Blair’s grand appeasement of Scottish nationalism, the offer of a devolved parliament which dragged Wales reluctantly in its train. The previous four-to-one rejection of devolution was converted onto a referendum majority of 50.3% for a new Welsh assembly, on a meagre 50% turnout. It was the most nervous possible mandate for self-government.