Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Coalition settling in.

I like to keep an eye on what is happening in Cardiff Bay, even if my focus has moved elsewhere for the time being. You never know - I might be back some day. I'll need to know what has been going on. A key question for us all this week is how the Labour/Plaid Cymru Coalition is panning out. I'm grateful to Andrew Davies and Lord Dafydd El for copying me in on the chatty little emails they've been sending each other in the Debating Chamber today. I'm not sure it was deliberate though.

It seems that Ieuan Wyn Jones, who has just replaced Andrew as the Minister responsible for economic matters was waxing lyrical about the Government's fabulously effective Statistics Department. This was too much for Andrew who remembers the sort of thing Ieuan was saying earlier in the year - when he was rubbishing them. Andrew's email to Lord Dafydd El read

"Perhaps we have a new Stats Dep't? Of course, I would argue that the stats have been good for some years now (and certainly improved since I became Economic Development Minister in 2002!) I do remember that the opposition parties didn't appear to accept the figures at the time whever I quoted them - at frequent intervals I might add. Time is a great healer, especially of perceptions."
The email finished with the rather plaintive observation "Funny things,memories!"

In typically jocular fashion Dafydd El responded "Its the stats apparently which are good. Must be your good work" to which the still smarting Andrew responded "I see that Wales has suddenly improved since the PoW became a part of the Government!!!"

I guess that PoW stands for Party of Wales - though one cannot be sure that Her Majesty has not awarded a principality to his Lordship in recognition of loyal service. I do hope that the new Coalition Government will carry on copying their chatty little emails to everyone so that we know how the new team is settling down. Since they seem to want everyone to read them, I just thought I'd publish them on my blog - which is going through a period of high visitor numbers.

11 comments:

Bwganbrain said...

Tut tut tut. Didn't the emails have the usual note about "the contents of this mail are confidential blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda" and encouraged you to delete it and render your memory of it blank?
Or did your desire for FoI get the better of you?
Or maybe you'll now become the official route for all future leaks.
Still, it's good to see them back at work, and just like so many people in real workplaces, spending time emailing each other.
Happy days

Anonymous said...

is that what they are doing in the senedd when we all think they are working on important business.

Glyn Davies said...

I wonder how many hours they waste on Facebook in the chamber. I admit that I was guilty of emailing Andrew Davies (and others) when I was there - so I can't say much. I don't suppose the PO will be best pleased that this email correspondence fell into my possesion though.

Dr. Christopher Wood (avatar: "Farscape") said...

In computational chemistry "settling in" is akin to a molecule (usually a largish one) finding an energy minima via a supercomputer molecular dynamics simulation ...

... just thought you might like to know :>P

Ordovicius said...

Ha! Looking forward to next week's leak. Perhaps we can lay odds as to who the sender will be next time.
;-)

Glyn Davies said...

Sanddef - very important that I do not reveal my sources. It may be that the Government staff are already investigating whether I've managed to hack into the Assembly Intranet

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the famous Bing Crosby song "Busy doing nothing working the whole day through." Nice work if you can get it.

Glyn Davies said...

There is an important point worth making about this. During my 8 years as an Assembly Member, The only time which I felt was completely wasted was when I was sitting in the Debating Chamber 'listening' to a debate in which I was not involved - sometimes with a stack of work waiting for me in my office. But so many people seem to want to see their AMs in the Chamber. It doesn't lead to a productive use of their time.

Daran said...

"There is an important point worth making about this. During my 8 years as an Assembly Member, The only time which I felt was completely wasted was when I was sitting in the Debating Chamber 'listening' to a debate in which I was not involved - sometimes with a stack of work waiting for me in my office. But so many people seem to want to see their AMs in the Chamber. It doesn't lead to a productive use of their time."

I hear what you're saying Glyn. The assembly is changing to reflect that in its working practices too. Some votes are now grouped, so members not involved in the debate can be away somewhere else (and hopefully doing something productive!); and there are indeed plans to schedule some (smaller) Committees alongside plenary time.

When all's said and done, when a government has 2/3 of all votes the chance of a cheeky ambush for an opposition member is long gone. Which means that opposition debates, for example, are far less relevant than they were during the knife-edge politics of the last 4 years.

Christopher Glamorgan said...

It does look unprofessional when the chamber is half empty, so it is good to see a nearly full chamber. As some do, they can always catch up with emails etc during the boring bits. Although I do draw the line at taking your ironing in, but washing dirty laundry in public is always welcome :>D

Glyn Davies said...

I support the move to hold committees alongside Plenary. Its the only way the new constitution can function with only 60 memebers. AMs in the chamber for no reason are expensive wallpaper.