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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The things that they say part three

First Minister's Questions are being taken by Ieuan Wyn Jones today as Rhodri Morgan is off to Washington DC for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival which this year will celebrate Welsh culture. There will be a major trade mission featuring 80 Welsh companies running alongside the festival.
Commenting on his trip the First Minister was keen to stress that it would not be 'too druidic and bardic'. He said: "We've tried to weave the two (culture and technology) together under this overall banner of sustainability...The Irish always had this clash between the Leprechauns on the one side and the hi-tech imagery of contemporary Ireland."

Rhodri Morgan intends to point to the 'so-called miracle on the Hudson' when an airplane crash landed in the river in New York and passengers waited for rescue on wings that had been manufactured by Airbus in Broughton.

He said: "They were all standing on Welsh wings. That's part of our brand now, in the same way that having two Nobel prize-winning scientists on the staff of Cardiff University is part of Wales' brand now."

Meanwhile, a glossy booklet lands on the desks of all Assembly Members entitled '2009 World Class Wales' complete with an optimistic forward from the First Minister. A few pages in a quote is highlighted beneath a photo of an engineered product produced in Wales. It says: 'Financially, Wales is affordable. Put simply, land costs less and salaries for skilled software developers can be up to 30% lower than other parts of the UK. Staff retention levels are also among the highest in the UK; whilst costs are 20% lower.'

Can we make our minds up please? Are we promoting Wales as an economic success story or a low-wage economy?
Er, both I think.
FMQs are normally shown on BBC-2 Wales. Tennis intervened this week. I hesitate to say that it was a good day to bury bad IWJ, without having seen his performance.

The tennis before 15:00 was not as lively as a typical Rhodri session.
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