I first met Alun way back in the Gower Byelection in 1982 when we both canvassing for Plaid and my memory then was of a rather callow youth
I then met him as a when I was a mature student four years later at Aberystwyth when he was still active in Plaid and was first a Regional officer and then President of NUS Cymru.
I partly owe much of my disillusion of Party politics to him as it seemed to me that he was putting his political ambition over the NUS and he was clearly carving a future out for him self in politics.
It came as no surprise that he defected to Labour when Plaid failed to make a impact and I believe that he placed his own ambition over any ideology he may have once had.
Carwyn Jones was a contemporary of ours in Aber so when Alun was elected firsr as regional Member for then as a regional member for Mid and West Wales and then for Blaneau Gwent.
Bt the way I don't agree with Martin Shipton that Alun
Nevertheless, he showed courage in giving up his regional list seat to win back Blaenau Gwent which had been lost in a bitter row over the imposition of an all-women shortlist – even though there was a double irony in his succeeding the widow of the male AM who had left the party in such circumstances.
In reality Blaneau Gwent looked likely to return to Labour whilst a Labour resurgence could well have resulted in them losing at least one of the the regional seats .
Since then he has been rapidly promoted and in March 14, 2013 Alun was appointed Minister for Natural Resources and Food in the Welsh Government.
Since then he has courted controversy and Marin Shipton seems to at least have a cynical view over the row over his support for the circuit of Wales project
Why did he write a letter to NRW, knowing it would have to be disclosed if a request was made under the Freedom of Information Act? Couldn’t he have picked up the phone to the NRW’s boss instead? The instinctive response is to say that the letter is a further example of Alun Davies’ arrogance. Perhaps though it was calculated to promote him as a local hero, someone who despite the risk to their political career was prepared to go out on a limb in the interests of their constituents.
When the letter came to light, thanks to its disclosure to Gareth Clubb of Friends of the Earth Cymru and the wider publicity given by the Western Mail, there had to be an investigation. It was inevitable that the Permanent Secretary, Sir Derek Jones, would conclude that the Ministerial Code had been broken. How inevitable it was that Carwyn Jones would let him off is something we may never know. The episode has certainly set an unseemly precedent. What is the point of having a Ministerial Code if Ministers who break it are let off the hook? There is also a contrast to the impact on the career of Leighton Andrews, who ceased to be Education Minister after campaigning to save a school in his constituency from closure. There was no investigation by the Permanent Secretary, no delay while the First Minister pondered on the report, and no reprieve. Alun Davies has apologised for what he did, but in the most perfunctory way possible. He doesn’t appear to be contrite in the slightest. We’re now supposed to forget the episode ever happened.
Maybe its Carwyn's long friendship with Alun first developed in the Aber Student's Union that save him from being sacked as he should have been but one wonder how far it will his support go?
Martin Shipton ask
Could Alun Davies be the next First Minister?
Well he has the ambition but probably not the ability and not withstanding Carwyn's friendship the latter will probably watching his back.
Maybe that's why he didn't sack Alun thinking he may be more dangerous on the backbenches.
Alun Davies from callow youth to shallow politician.
He has a safe seat in Blaneau Gwent but with Carwyn seemingly to be around for some considerable time one wonders how long this will suit his overriding ambition.