Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Jones gets the job
“Jones is not universally popular and Crabb is thought to have the edge between the two in the esteem of the Prime Minister. But the chances of either getting the job are low.” Yesterday’s blog. How wrong it was.
Well, it was right in predicting that Cheryl Gillan would go, but it was completely off the mark in who her replacement would be. Clearly, prophesy is not a profession the blogger should take up.
The choice of David Jones provides Wales with its first Tory Secretary of State for Wales from a Welsh constituency since Nicholas Edwards in those far off days when Mrs Thatcher was waving her handbag.
David Jones started his political journey in the Assembly. He took over the North Wales seat following Rod Richards resignation from the Assembly.
Mind you his stay in the Assembly was short, only long enough to sign the register declaring his membership of the freemasons. Apart from any ambitions he might have in the Lodge it was always Westminster that he had in his sight.
Not a great fan of devolution. A likely cause of some tension with many an Assembly AM, not least Darren Miller the Assembly Member for Clwyd West.
Although Conservative officials were spinning that co-ordination would be easier now and Andrew R T Davies was the first person that was contacted by the new Secretary of State.
The other member that was in the frame for the job Maria Miller MP for Basingstoke, gets Culture and with it responsibility for S4C. So instead of cosy talks with Carwyn Jones about their old School it will be Cymdeithas yr Iaith that will be doing the chatting.
Back to David Jones. He is a Welsh speaker, only the second bilingual Conservative in the post. The first being Peter Thomas. Although by the time he was Secretary of State he had been turned out of his Welsh seat and was then a member for Hendon.
The post of Welsh Secretary is a bridge between the Welsh Government and the Westminster one. It will be interesting to see how David Jones fulfills the role.
On the wider reshuffle with none of the major departments changing hands it is difficult to see how the new faces in these middle ranking portfolios will refresh the governments image.
It’s still the economy, stupid. And with no changes in those that manage the economy it will be business, or the lack of it, as usual.