Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Laptops culled Badgers saved (For now.)


The new Assembly Government has distanced themselves from policies from the last Assembly that were associated with their former Plaid Cymru partners that It began when confirmed it will not pursue a policy of providing schoolchildren with free laptop

The Welsh Government, and Education Minister Leighton Andrews said he was not proposing to continue the project, launched in March 2010.

  This had been main plankpf  Plaid's campaign for the 2007 assembly education. Mr Andrews said the "Welsh Government supported a pilot project to explore the educational benefits of providing access to laptops through schools. It ended on March 31 and was being evaluated".
The second announcement has been that plans for a Badger cull in West Wales have been put on hold while a review is carried out.

The Labour-run Welsh Government says an independent panel of experts will examine the science involved.

The cull had been part of an attempt by the previous Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition government to combat bovine TB.

But Environment Minister John Griffiths said there would be no cull while the panel carried out its work.

Both these can well been seen as snub to the coalition partners and indication that there will be no one
Wales 2 or at least not one one where Plaid could portray themselves as equal partner.

As far as Laptops are concerned I thought this was Plaid's most innovative ideas it clear to me that our children must have easy access to information technology and those whose parents can provide it will have an early advantage particularly in Secondary Education.

If Labour have good reasons for not pursing a project that will lessen the education gap between the children of poorer families then I hope they can produce them but if the scrapping of the project is too show two fingers to Plaid then shame on them..

In a similar vein the new moratorium and yet another revue on the proposed Badger Cull could well be for good reasons. It interesting then both John Griffiths who announced the revue and Elin Jines the former Plaid Minster who ordered the cull under the last Assembly are two of our more decent politicians.

But the vast majority of those AM voted against such a move in the last Assembly and it can't help to be noticed that John Griffiths (who also voted against a delay) is the AM or Newport East s far away fro Newport Pembrokeshire where a cull may have taken place and one can't help feeling the decision was not entirely his.

I understand the conflicting evidence for and against the cull but I can't see how ah further revue will shift  the argument either way.

So Labours plans may be to distance themselves from what in many quarters was an unpopular policy that been proposed by a Plaid Minister but as with Laptops their action should be do what is right.

Over at Jaxxland they point out that a joking remark by a Tory AM that that the move was a quite obviously a pre-coalition concession to the Welsh LibDems should not be taken to seriously by political pundits.

But unless Plaid are prepared to humiliate themselves by entering a Coalition with a party that has just ditched one of their main achievements as coalition partners and have become very coy about a major measure by a Plaid Minister. Where are Labour to look for support?


  1. The laptop policy was bold and good, unfortunately it seems to have been badly handled, how it cost £700 per lap top beats me. I would have thought the obvious way to have gone would be to go for a linux based netbook, as that has less overheads (ie no need for anti virus software etc) and they can be obtained relatively cheaply. Again I would refer people to the work done in Extremadura where the adoption and roll out of open source solutions created a broadband network to one of the most impoverished regions of Spain. This provided one computer to ever two children in schools and set up public computer centres open to the public. This went hand in hand with a dedicated set of software for the needs of the region. All upskilling the population and without having to pay the Microsoft Tax. It would be easy to add netbooks to that project.

  2. Cibwr.

    Bang on: I can't see how it cost £700 either and any such initiative should have looked at the Linux-Ubuntu alternative.

    Perhaps you should contact the Assembly and offer your advice. It seems they could do with it.