Tuesday, 6 December 2011

To do or not to do, that is the question

It’s a Tuesday ritual that all the political parties in the Assembly hold a briefing for the press. Oh, that’s not quite accurate, Labour has never bothered to do a briefing for the fourth estate. 
Now, quite why Labour don’t want to speak or brief the press has never been made clear, but it might be because they've always been the party of government and have let “their” Ministers do the briefing. This worked reasonably well, until this new term, now there are no government weekly briefings. They brief only when it suits, not as a matter of course.
But back to the briefings. As often happens a theme emerges  and today was no exception. The line was that Carwyn Jones’s government was lazy. In effect the government has done little since their election in May.
Plaid Cymru were first off the mark saying they were going to vote against the  government’s budget. Why, you may ask? Well, it’s because the government is not responding  to the dire state of the Welsh economy. 
When the hacks questioned  Ieuan Wyn Jones on Plaid’s stance. His response was that it was unusual for Plaid to vote against a budget, normally they would abstain. But such was their despair with the Welsh Government  they had very little choice but vote against the budget.
Then he made an astonishing declaration. In a quarter of a century of his being involved both as a Member of Parliament and an Assembly Member, he hadn’t experienced a government of any hue, doing so little in its first seven months of office, as this Welsh Government.
An echo to this theme of inactivity by the government, came in the Conservative briefing. They pointed out that there had only been one piece of legislation brought to the Assembly for consideration in the seven months since the election. 

Andrew RT Davies the Leader of the Opposition contrasted the Welsh Government with the actions of the other British legislatures. In Scotland six bills and been laid and six was also the tally in Westminster. He  was critical at this lack of progress, but he particularly pointed out that the Enterprise Minister had not made an oral statement to the Chamber on the economy since she took over the portfolio in May. 
But, perhaps, the unkindest cut of all came from the Liberal Democrats. They were claiming that their support for the budget and the negotiations surrounding the budget had resulted in a wake up call for the government. Peter Black the Liberal Democrat claimed that the Welsh Government “had” been lethargic but "now" they, the Liberal Democrats, had helped “refocus the government” and they would now snap out of their lethargy. 
Of course, there was no opportunity to get the government’s take on all the criticism that they’re a 'do nothing' government, ‘cos they don’t 'do' press briefings, either.


  1. I and many others will agree with you Gareth and good on you for being one of the only Welsh journalists not toeing the WG line.

    However Labour keeps on getting elected by Welsh voters who obviously have no problem with the 'sit on your hands and blame the Tories strategy' Labour is engaged in, until that changes we're stuck with the inaction and blame culture.

  2. Let's have more of this useful political comment, it helps to create an impression of what really is going on in Cardiff Bay (and especially so from up here in poverty stricken North Wales).

    I, for one, don't see the need to legislate for legislation sake, but I do see the need for the Welsh government to govern! And it is clearly failing in this task.

  3. Hwn yw un o'r blogiau gorau Cymreig os nad yr un gorau. Rwyf yn enwedig yn mwynhau'r sylwadau ar yr economi. Diolch Gareth.

  4. این یکی از بهترین وبلاگ ها ویلز اگر نه یکی ا بهترین است. من به ویژه لذت بردم نظر در اقتصاد است. تشکر گرت.

  5. Thanks for the comments,diolch am y sylwadau. I hope to bring more observations in the next few days and then a break for Christmas, I wish you all a merry Xmas, Nadolig Llawen.

  6. Thank goodness a journalist willing to tell the real side to our Government. I have been frustrated by the lack of, well everything from this "Government" - they do nothing.

    I am even more frustrated that the BBC isn't jumping on top of the Welsh Government really scrutinising them - I suppose this really is the weakness of Wales.... a very weak media.

    And whats worse, and I hate to say it. But I think the current Tory Welsh SoS has done more for Wales than the Labour FM. So, so, so disappointed by Labour.