Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Diplomatic returns!

Welsh politicians are desperately trying to remember what they said to members of the US Embassy staff. Meetings between them are a regular occurrence. The new element of course is Wiki Leaks or in Wales's case Wiki 'leeks'. 
Now that no conversation is a secret for long, they had better get ready with their rebuttals. Blaming it on the diplomat/spook’s shorthand can only work once.
Having for over ten years earned my bread on the tittle tattle [Editor: surely political analysis] of Welsh politics until ITVWales brought it to an undignified halt, I have clearly missed out on a business opportunity. 
The American Embassy could have got it straight from the ‘man in the know.’ It would have been a great deal cheaper than entertaining the politicians and in the end getting bum information.
Anyone with even the barest  and most primitive knowledge of Welsh Labour would know that to organise an internal coup would be way beyond it’s ken. Piss-up and brewery come to mind.
The thought that either Peter Hain or Eluned Morgan could be parachuted in to replace Rhodri Morgan as leader of Welsh Labour  would cause a belly laugh in Labour Clubs up and down this fair land of Wales. 
These saloon bar pundits would recall the fate of the last parachutist. The guy pushed out of the plane by Prime Minister Blair - the much lamented Alun Michael.
It stretches the imagination  that Edwina Hart, Huw Lewis and Carwyn Jones would have rolled over for Hain or Morgan. All three have their flaws but pussy cats they are certainly not. 
No, at the time the story first appeared most commentators dismissed it as a story arising out of the machination of those at Westminster. Politicians that had spent to much time at the Strangers bar crying into their beer. 
True, Westminster has an over abundance of Members of Parliament that have one thing in common, a profound dislike of the National Assembly for Wales. 
These forty political giants that represent Wales over Offa's Dyke have nothing but contempt towards Assembly Members. The Welsh Parliamentary Labour Party would naturally presume that not one of ‘that lot’ would be worthy successors to Rhodri Morgan.  He after all was one of them - once. But any connection that this bar room gossip had to reality, would as they say in the movies,  be purely co-incidental.
Perhaps the most worrying aspect of this amusing tale is - what happens to the reports back at base. What are they to make of them back in the land of the free. 

Does what is collected by the diplomat/spooks from such sources form the background of America’s world view? If so, it would explain a lot about the somewhat bizarre decisions they have taken abroad.  The US like the UK has a long history of  foreign policy miscalculations. Could it be a case of garbage in, garbage out.
But if this is what our diplomats do, it raises the question do we need them.  Perhaps the Foreign Office in these hard economic times should take a bigger hit in its budget. Or as my friend Vaughan Roderick  suggested, the money would be better spent on backing the BBC World service. Such a transfer of resources would do more for the UK image than paying for duff information from abroad
But back to the Americans. If they want to continue collecting this kind of information and who am I to oppose it.  And just in case Wales creeps up the league of most favoured nations back in Washington and should Hilary Clinton want to investigate further the country of her roots. I make this special plea.  As a freelancer with his finger on the pulse of the Welsh body political, all reasonable offers will be considered! So anyone with ears at the Embassy and of course a budget,  just get in touch. 

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