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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Undermining the Government

Vaughan Roderick has details of a stormy meeting of the Assembly's Finance Committee today that, once it had slipped into private session became more and more confrontational.

The source of the disagreement was the Economy and Transport Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones and his famed reluctance to be scrutinised. The Finance Committee has been trying to get their hands on a document relating to the Minister's transport policy for some weeks now and for a time it looked as if they were going to get their way.

The plan was that the document would be released this Monday 13th July so that the Committee could consider it on Wednesday 15th and use it to finalise their report before recess. However, the Minister threw a spanner in the works this morning when it was revealed that publication had been put back until the very last day of term effectively delaying the Committee's further enquiries until September.

This provoked some considerable anger amongst Committee members who, I understand were less than complimentary about the Deputy First Minister and his general competence. After the tea break a prominent Plaid Cymru member apparently accused other members of using the situation for political advantage and of seeking to undermine the One Wales Government. As if!

It seems that Plaid Cymru have still not got used to the idea of effective scrutiny and some of their number at least believe that once in Government they should be above criticism. In any case the member concerned got his comeupance when his accusations were met, according to Vaughan, with the rather crude put-down that "It's not this committee that's undermining the government it's your f***ing Minister".

Rumours that this rebuke came from a Labour Assembly Member cannot at this stage be confirmed and because the Committee was in private session it will not appear on the record.
So much for a more honest, open government accountable to the public. It annoys me when politicians think they are above everyone else and immune from scrutiny and criticism, whether labour, libdem or conservative.
“The very effective put-down that "It's not this committee that's undermining the government it's your f***ing Minister".

I am really shocked and disappointed that you find such vile and abusive language to be acceptable Mr Black. If a member of the public used that he would be arrested under Section 5 of public order act. No wonder people are turned off by politics and increasingly hate politicians.

No matter how much the Labour AM disagreed on the issue, to use the f-word is a disgrace, and I hope the name of the member will be published so that we can know who this person was. Will the person who said this have the courage to identify himself or herself publicly? I doesn't matter one jot if it was a private session.
The public have a right to know.
Do not get the impression that just because I quoted the remark it means that I find it acceptable, I do not. I have now amended the entry to make that clear.

As I was not at the meeting I am not able to identify the person who made the comment. Indeed I relied on Vaughan Roderick's blog for much of the contents of this post.
I'm glad Peter that you agree such obnoxious attacks has no place in the Assembly.

One thing I am sure, no Lib Dem, Plaid or Conservative politician would stoop to such depths. You are decent and intelligent politician, like the vast majority in the Sennedd. Its just a shame that an idiot (and I can guess who it was) has pushed Welsh politics into the gutter with these comments.
Could I thank David Hughes for making me laugh. He really should go out more often. The real issue is not whether or not an AM in their frustration used an Anglo Saxon word for the sexual act but one of scrutiny. If ministers promise to provide information to a scrutiny committee then that information should be provided. It really is an issue of transparency and public accountablity. As for the language used there are numerous examples of outstanding leaders throughout the world who often used some of the most colourful language imaginable to get things done. Just read Denis Healey's account of his period as Minister of Defence in the 1960s. Any Australian reading the criticism of the use of the F word in politics would be rolling in the aisles.
Well suprise, surprise! 'Jones the Moans' as Western Mail dubbed Jeff Jones, ex-Brigend Labour councillor, defends politicians swearing at each other.

What a wonderful, fine example you are to our nation's young.
So, since the WDA has gone things have got more accountable according to WAG?!
I don't think that most of the nations's young people are that interested in what one AM says to another. If they live in the Heads of the Valleys area they probably are more interested in when the Assembly will ensure that a key road for the economic revival of the area stops being a death trap. In economic terms the Heads of the Valleys road is also far more important than any improvements to links between north and South Wales.
Fuck me guys, its a bloody word, quit the moralising.

Swearing is part of the lexicon of working people's lives, simple as.
I think the improvments of road links between north and south Wales is important for economic growth throughout Wales, in particular Mid Wales where I live. I also agree that heads of the Valleys road is important.

It begs the question tho why didn't the Labour government do anything about it in the last 12 years.

And its no point in Huw Lewis ranting and raving about it. Why didn't he make it a priority when he was a minister in the government? Or is this just, as many suspect, his way of trying to undermine Ieuan Wyn Jones and the One Wales Government, who according to the Financial Times no less has done a pretty good job in difficult circmstances.
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