Been Christmas shopping today - so didn't read the Western Mail until this afternoon, when I stopped for coffee. Wish I hadn't bought it. Its the most despairing issue I've read for a long time. The front page made me spill my cappuccino, given over completely to an editorial that Nick Bourne should go. I don't think I can bring myself to make any further comment on this stuff. Hugely important to me, but the danger of being misread is too great.
Page two and three are just as bad. I was appalled to read of politicians attacking individual AMs of opposing parties. This is nuts. I regret making a negative comment about an AM claiming for a wreath on expenses on my blog. Wish I hadn't. I accept that it was my opinion, but I don't think any political party should be throwing stones at others - just answering for themselves. Today's attacks are directed at Labour AMs, Andrew Davies and Alun Davies. Alun's asked for it of course, because he's been putting himself up to attack Nick. This sort of behaviour will come back to bite him - hard I hope. But I really cannot see anything amiss with what Alun has supposedly done.
At least there will be long-term benefits flowing from all this. Firstly it will introduce a super-prudent approach to expense claiming by politicians (in Wales anyway). When the expense claims that are the subject of today's furore were claimed, it was not thought they would be made public. The searchlight thrown by media examination will prove an effective astringent. And secondly, I cannot see anyone opposing the recommendations which Sir Roger Jones' committee will make about what is an acceptable expenses regime. We should reach a position where the public know and approve of what expenses are available to AMs. And hopefully, we'll never see another edition of the Western Mail like today's.