Today's 'event' on the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay in support of greater funding for further education has caught the eye of several bloggers, including Betsan. Its difficult to know what to make of it. Some say its hypocrisy. If that is all it was, it wouldn't matter too much. Hypocrisy has long been one of those ever-present and demeaning features of politics that brings down contempt upon the heads of politicians. But this takes it to a new level. Its AMs behaving as if governing Wales carries with it no responsibility to stand behind actions whatsoever - a complete freedom to mislead people in a totally blatant way. How on earth can representatives of the Labour Party and Plaid Cymru tell representatives of the FE sector that they will fight against a budget which they themselves so recently voted through. Community Councillors wouldn't do that. Lets give a bit more space to the quotes that Betsan highlights.
This first from Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Plaid Cymru AM. "As far as the Plaid group is concerned we are unanimous in our support for this. (more funding) We need that funding for Further Education in Wales. We will fight for it, and as far as I'm concerned, this is an issue where there is no possible means of doing anything other than reinstating that money for further education".
And this from Alun Davies, Labour AM "We're going to be making sure that we're campaigning to make sure the funding is available, to make sure that the promises we all make as politicians are realised. there's no point in people standing here making speeches if we go home and forget about the speeches we've given and the commitments that we've made. We're going to be making sure that when you're marching, we're going to be marching with you."
There were 15 Labour and Plaid politicians joining in today's protests about the funding for further education included in the Assembly Coalition Government's budget. They all voted for the Assembly budget less than three months ago. And as Liberal Democrat AM, Peter Black informs us, on March 11th, both Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Alun Davies and the 15 others all voted against a proposal that 'calls on the Welsh Assembly Government to re-examine its financial support for post-16 education'. How on earth can the people of Wales be expected to take National Assembly politicians seriously if they don't believe that the words they speak have any residual value at all.