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Friday, November 26, 2010

Father Ted in the Assembly

It is some time since I have quoted from the Assembly record on this blog but I thought that a little exchange between Conservative AM, Jonathan Morgan and former First Minister, Rhodri Morgan was worthy of wider circulation. It is not often that someone puts Rhodri down so effectively in the Chamber:

Jonathan Morgan: Yet again, we have another report—the Nuffield Trust report—pointing out that, since devolution, the collection of data in Wales has worsened, and, when we compare Wales to the north-east of England, we see again that we are spending more per head of population on health, but getting less as a result. For those Members who think that that is a startling outcome, in the first Assembly the Wanless review was commissioned—incidentally, that was by the current Minister for health, although I think that she was the Finance Minister at the time—and Derek Wanless found exactly the same thing when he compared us with the north-east of England. We had very similar demographics, but we were spending more per head of population on health, and we were getting less at the other end. However, those lessons appear not to have been learned.

Rhodri Morgan: The comparison with the north-east of England only applies to industrial south Wales. There is no equivalent to mid, west and north Wales in the north-east of England, so you can forget that comparison. It is utterly irrelevant.

Jonathan Morgan: Sorry, Rhodri, but you are absolutely wrong. When you look at the Wanless review, which your Government commissioned, you will see that it compares Wales with the north-east of England specifically because of the demographics. As a result of that, Wanless concluded—[Interruption.] You are just saying that because you do not like the outcome of the Wanless review that you commissioned. [Interruption.] The Wanless review stated very clearly that we were spending more per head of population on health and getting less as a result. It is your fault if you do not like the outcome of the review that your Finance Minister commissioned. The Deputy Presiding Officer—[Interruption.]

The Deputy Presiding Officer: Order. I do not think that we need any more barracking from the back row.

Jonathan Morgan: I think that we can do without the Member for Cardiff West doing his Father Jack impersonation. [Laughter.]

The Deputy Presiding Officer: Order. Jonathan, that was not in keeping with your generally gracious manner.

Jonathan Morgan: Anyone who knows the hit series Father Ted will know that there is a certain character who mutters a lot. What we have heard this afternoon from Rhodri on the backbenches is a considerable amount of muttering, and I was merely responding to that.

If this works then thanks to the wonders of new technology you can watch the incident yourself here:

Nice one Jonathan haha!
An example of "TEDing it like it is"? (Borrowed from a recent article by Barry Davis in jPost.com). Of course Ardal O'Hanlon went on to play "Thermoman" - one of my favourite characters - O'Hanlon was/is brilliant at dead-pan humour.

I loved the Father Ted series; my mum hated the character played by Ardal O'Hanlon, who was semi-sozzled most of the time or otherwise was an "elderly, decrepit, foul-mouthed, lecherous[2] alcoholic priest" (Wiki). Father Ted, RIP Dermot John Morgan.

PS I've had the odd run-in with Rhodri Morgan in Washington DC no less, e.g. "Rhodri Morgan’s pro-Obama gaffe in speech to US business leaders" by Martin Shipton, front page article in the Western Mail on March 14, 2009:


"It's a small world."
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