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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Continuing Professional Development

The BBC have gone big today on a so-called story, highlighting the amount of money being spent by the Assembly on training AMs.

This provision was made following the report by Sir Roger Jones into Assembly Member remuneration and expenses, which proposed continuing professional development for AMs and their staff.

Every other profession has this provision, why shouldn't AMs? After all the journalists who are reporting this matter were trained, largely at public expense, in how to ask questions.

Good scrutiny is a skill that can be learned and nobody is above improving their performance. In the circumstances, the sum expended is modest when compared to the benefits that may accrue, not least in having a more effective democracy in Wales.
It's amazing how politicians in the past such as Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Nye Bevan and Michael Foot were able to ask questions and hold governments to account without any 'training' whatsoever.
And how many members of the Welsh Assembly are in the same class as those four?

More to the point - in the time when those people were in Parliament there were countless MPs who were very poor at doing just that sort of thing.

Foot was of course professionally trained at asking questions through his journalism.
Before learning how to ask a question, AMs should learn how to listen in the Chamber rather than devoting their attention to their computers.
valleysmam has a similar but more informed post and ties in with this
Worth a read
It's sham devolution and sham politicians.

Until Wales gets a legislature with all the powers it needs to address the problems Wales faces as a result of centuries of exploitation and incompetent government and administration from Westminster and Whitehall, then we'll get second and third rate people standing for election to the Assembly. That is true for ALL the parties represented.

Having said that, the vast majority of MPs (and peers) are second or third rate too. I can't name one statesman or woman among them. The entire sysem is in need of reform. Scrap the lot, and start from scratch, would be best. The French had the right idea in 1789.
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