Thursday, 26 April 2012
Night on the town
The Welsh Assembly’s standards watchdog are to investigate the Llanelli AM Keith Davies’s behaviour in the 5 star St David’s hotel after a night out.
This is not the first and probably won’t be the last time a politician is in trouble because of booze. Politics, late night and drink seem to go together. After all it’s said that Churchill won the war on brandy and of course the behaviour of George Brown whilst Foreign Secretary was the subject of much hilarity.
It is alleged that an altercation took place involving Mr Davies which resulted in the hotel contacting the Assembly Commission to express concerns about his behaviour.
The reason the Commission was contacted is because the Assembly pay for the stay of out of town AM’s at the five-star St David's Hotel in Cardiff Bay. Quite why we the taxpayers are paying for 5 star hotels for politicians is, of course another matter.
Whilst Mr Davies’s behaviour in the hotel may be of concern to the Assembly authorities it is another aspect of the evening that should cause us all greater worry.
According to the BBC web site the incident happened after “He had earlier joined other AMs and political figures for dinner and drinks to celebrate the birthday of a political lobbyist.”
Now apart from Mr Davies who were ''the other AMs and political figures." Surely such gatherings ought to be a matter of public record.
This is another example of the cosy relationship between politicians and lobbyists. These events are part of the tools that the Lobby industry use to access and influence politicians.
Without doubt this was a very pleasant social occasion and nothing as sordid as business will have interfered with the enjoyment of the night. But we would be very naive to think that such events are harmless.
Lobbyist’s use these “social” events to build their networks of contacts. Once the network is established access and influence follow just as night follows day. Anthropologist’s have a term for it “the reciprocal gift relationship” In the valleys it’s described as “you scratch my back...”
Perhaps it’s this that the Assembly Commission should be looking into, not if an AM has had one over the eight.