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Wednesday, January 14, 2004


Having watched successive Star Trek series for at least 30 years I have never understood what it was that the various Captains disliked about Will. It is true that in the "Next Generation" series there was actually a character called Will Riker but other than that we never got to see him. Whenever they got into a tight spot the order always went out - "Fire at Will!".

Presumably, they always missed. After yesterday's Plenary session of the Welsh Assembly I would not be surprised if in future fire is directed at Leighton. Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews demonstrated that he rarely, if ever, watches the series but still managed to turn it into a futuristic version of "The Office" by making a point so obscure that I still do not understand it.
Leighton Andrews: Do you agree that this extra money is welcome, particularly by the hard-pressed council tax payers of Rhondda Cynon Taf, who will at least have the certainty that this money will be spent on front-line services rather than being squandered on spaced-out Star Trek-style seminars for senior managers?

As I have never yet seen a seminar as such on a Star Trek programme I really do not know what Leighton is talking about. Unless of course he believes that Rhondda Cynon Taf are using management bonding exercises in which staff are asked to dress up as Klingons, Ferrengi, Cardassians and Romulans so as to fight the Plaid Cymru Federation led by Captain Pauline Jarman. The fantasy life of Labour AMs never ceases to amaze me.

Update: It seems that fact is stranger than fiction after all. My thanks to Welsh Tory Press Officer Richard Hazlewood for drawing my attention to the story behind the comment. How did I manage to miss Rhondda Cynon Taf's 'Star Trek Day' reported in the South Wales Echo on 10 September 2003? They reported that "The Starship Endeavour event at Rhondda Fach Leisure Centre today - being attended by 200 staff - includes sessions such as Beam Me Up to the Holo-Deck and It's Time to Break The Prime Directive, Jean Luc." It seems that Labour members of that Council were so angry that they left no metaphor unspoken. 'Labour councillor Robert Bevan said: "This is council mismanagement on a galactic scale. The Nationalists are desperate to Klingon to power, but they are likely to be kicked out at warp speed. This is further proof of the Nationalists' warped priorities."' Our friend Leighton Andrews added "Plaid Cymru councillors must be spaced out to allow this. We always knew they were on a different planet." Oh Dear.

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