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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Previous lives

I know it is not fashionable for opposition politicians to jump to the defence of Government Ministers, but I feel that I have to make an exception for Plaid Cymru's Elin Jones.

Elin is currently on four weeks holiday in New Zealand, an event that was no doubt planned and booked well before she was made Rural Affairs Minister in the Welsh Assembly Government. Despite this there are siren voices in the Wales on Sunday who believe that she should not have gone. Instead, they argue, she should have stayed behind to personally oversee the destruction of Shambo the bullock, an incident which is described as 'the biggest story in Welsh rural affairs since foot and mouth.'

For goodness sake, get some perspective. Not only is Elin entitled to a holiday, but the whole Shambo incident is a huge storm in a teacup. It is a matter that Government officials are more than capable of dealing with on their own without having a Minister breathing down their necks all of the time. Ministers are there to set the policy and strategic direction of the government, civil servants are employed to deliver and administer that framework.

It is my judgement that the active and direct involvement of a government minister in this matter would have made things worse. New Zealand was most probably the best place for the Minister to be as officials executed their instructions, but please don't stay there Elin, come back soon as I am sure we will need you to make some more decisions. Oh, and we will have plenty of questions to ask you as well when the Assembly reconvenes in September.

As if to underline the absurdity of the whole Shambo incident, one of the Monks was on the Radio Wales religious programme this morning. Yes, I know, I have a radio alarm and could not be bothered to reach over and switch it off.

The monk explained to the interviewer his belief that the bullock was a reincarnated soul and expressed the forlorn hope that Shambo might have been a veterinary surgeon in a previous life, in which case I suppose they think he got his just deserts. I was still half asleep at this point but I am sure that the inference was that those who made the decision to destroy Shambo may well be punished by being reincarnated as bullocks.

Still if they can have one those very attractive garlands hung around their necks and have their every need met by Hindu monks it may be worth it. And it will save a fortune in airfares to New Zealand.
I am so on this, your psychic shadaow, thanks for the info
Finally, a sane 'piece de resistance' from Peter.

'It really is true what they say about you'. (Cat line morphed from Red Dwarf).
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