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Friday, February 11, 2011

Now it's open warfare

Yesterday's little spat about senior Labour figures briefing on the Plaid Cymru Leader's competence in Government has turned into open warfare with a member of the Welsh Cabinet going on the record to attack a senior former Labour Minister.

According to the Western Mail, Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones told journalists that Ieuan Wyn Jones' predecessor as Minister in charge of the economy, Andrew Davies had made a complete mess of the job. Echoing my allusion yesterday about Mr. Davies seeking to blame civil servants for his troubles, she said:

“The attempt over the past few months to re-invent Andrew Davies as a competent Minister has been a shock to people across political parties. Since leaving office he has sought to blame his civil servants for lack of progress in his past Ministerial portfolios.

“In my experience, a Minister who blames his civil servants has failed to get his civil servants to deliver on priorities. A Minister has to take charge of his civil servants and that is what Ieuan Wyn Jones has done since taking over the Economy and Transport portfolio.

“The one major action of the Labour Assembly Government between 2003-07 was to merge the WDA and Wales Tourist Board into government. They managed to re-arrange the deckchairs but they did not change the Titanic’s course – they carried on in the same disastrous direction."

The paper says that another Plaid source commented about Andrew Davies that throughout his stewardship of the Welsh economy, he had persistently denied the extent of the problems facing Wales, and failed to recognise that relative levels of prosperity were falling in comparison with the rest of the UK and the EU.

“Andrew Davies gave the impression of being in constant denial about Wales’ economic problems, and certainly did nothing to fix them when he had the chance.”

These accusations come on top of fairly frank claims by the Plaid Cymru leader himself that after the Welsh Development Agency was brought in-house under the previous Labour administration, economic programmes had been left to stagnate:

He also revealed that in the early years of the Department, the Assembly Government had bought railway stock that had been leased to a rail franchise in England because there was no money to run it on the Valleys lines as intended.

These are all serious allegations and underline views put forward by the opposition parties but previously denied. It seems that Carwyn Jones' administration has gone into meltdown with all the skeletons making a break for freedom.
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