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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kirsty scores a direct hit

First Minister's questions yesterday produced a fascinating exercise from the Welsh Conservative Leader in how not to scrutinise the government.

Nick Bourne raised process issues about the Fourth Economic Summit and bombed badly. In contrast Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams was in the zone, asking direct, pertinent questions about the issues that matter to people all over Wales. Betsan Powys takes up the story:

Today I bet you would have winced had you watched First Minister's Questions. No near misses here, rather direct hits. Nick Bourne took the full force of asking the wrong question, based on the wrong information to a First Minister who swept him aside.

Why, asked Mr Bourne, had business leaders not had a chance to speak at the Economic Summit in Broughton on Friday?

Rhodri Morgan was picking up pace as he came down the tracks. What tittle tattle! He was in the chair himself and distinctly remembered inviting representatives from business to talk. Come on Nick, he goaded, you've got to do better than that. Balderdash!

Why oh why, asked Mr Bourne, had Jane Hutt, the Minister in charge of Lifelong Learning and Skills, not been at the Summit? Why wasn't she there to answer questions?

Then came the moment of impact. Bad news for Mr Bourne. She had been there. What's more she'd taken part, answered questions, the lot. A waste of two questions. 2-0 to the First Minister. "Poppycock! Not good enough Nick" he blared. The staunchest of Mr Bourne's supporters sank in their seats.

"When the boys have stopped arguing over who was or wasn't there ..." It was Kirsty Williams' turn. More bad news for Mr Bourne. Her questions were sharp, useful and scored direct hits. Had the Assembly Government talked to banks about the availability of credit? Had the First Minister made representations to the EU on state aid rules that govern the interest rates at which Finance Wales - who are there to help small and medium size businesses - can borrow? Would he do either of these things before the next Summit?

There was no answer from the First Minister.

Are the Conservatives beginning to lose their way in the face of a revitalised Welsh Liberal Democrat opposition?

As Betsan points out this episode has not done much to help Nick Bourne to hold onto his job.
It is clear that the Tories need to start asking serious question about the qualifications of their research team. You need brains as well as a pretty face I'm afraid in this game

0:16:32 – 0:28:15
Hmmmmmmm! Interesting! Only one glaring mistake in all this - it says - Jane Hutt answered questions. Really? Can anyone ever remember Jane Hutt answering any question? You must be joking. Asked any question, Jane Hutt normally harangues back to the questioner. Whenever I see her (or that other irritating woman Anne Robinson) on TV - I reach for the Channel Changer. I'd rather watch Sali Mali anyday.
No offense to Mike German, but I can see Kirsty being the best Welsh Lib Dem leader we've ever had. There was only ever one choice with her in the game, which is why I didn't think twice before voting for her over Jenny Randerson.

Keep up the very good work Lib Dem AM's! (That goes for you too Peter! ;) )
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