Saturday, 11 October 2014

Alun Davies and Leighton Andrews have learned nothing.

Two Welsh Labour Assembly politicians who left their cabinet post under a cloud have been given space by the Wasting Mule  to  boost their already inflated egos

Blaenau Gwent AM and former natural resources minister Alun Davies said the requests he made about opposition AMs’ private financial interests seemed reasonable at the time.
He said he made the request about farm subsidy payments so he “personally” could know whether AMs had a personal issue in asking him questions about EU farming subsidies, information that is currently private.
Mr Davies was speaking to journalists after calling for Monmouthshire council to merge with Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen as part of the Welsh Government’s drive to shrink the number of local authorities in Wales.
We can only surmise that he was using the merger question as an excuse for him to rewrite History
Mr Davies’ request had been made a day after Permanent Secretary Derek Jones issued a report that concluded the Blaenau Gwent AM had breached the ministerial code in a separate matter by intervening in a planning process on the Circuit of Wales racetrack within his constituency.
Asked if the requests that led to his firing were ill-advised, Mr Davies said: “If I knew that sending that email was going to have led to what it led to I wouldn’t have done it.
“I didn’t feel that request was in anyway unusual or would create difficulties. I felt it was a reasonable request to make at the time.”He said he’d sought the information “in order to understand where people are coming from in asking a question”.“At that time in July I was coming to the end of a series of decision sessions on CAP and Pillar 2,” he said – Pillar 2 being a part of CAP.“I just wanted to understand whether anybody questioning me, particularly on Pillar 2 subsidies, had any personal issue for asking those questions. It was personally for my own background that I wanted to understand that.
So it seems that Alun Davies only regret is that  he was caught and that if he was ever to return to Cabinet he would continue more or less in the same vein

The second piece is a review of former Education Minister Leighton Andrews on his time in  Dr Philip Dixon, with whom he developed a strong working relationship, (so hardly an unbiased appraisal

You can get a taste of the Dr Dixon admiration for Andrews with the opening paragraph.

Who is the most recognised Welsh politician on the UK stage? The First Minister or his erstwhile Education Minister, Leighton Andrews?
It’s a moot point. For years the London-based media had been all but blind to Wales. This book tells how they became aware that “for Wales, see England” is no longer the case.
The book is fascinating on many levels. Mr Andrews’ early personal experiences ignited his passion for education. His encounter with the grammar school system, and his brother’s rejection by it, sowed the seeds for his total commitment to comprehensive schooling.
Given his own struggle, excuses for under-achievement proffered by the educational establishment just make him “angry”. As a working-class boy who grew up in what is now the minister’s constituency, I could not agree more.
Pass the sick bag Alice.

Is he really a working class boy ?  Perhaps DR Dixon or Leighton himself  can answer?

At least Dr Dixon mentions that "The book’s one glaring omission is his departure from office, of which nothing is said. Perhaps that will come in the memoirs".

 and that At the end of the day, this is inevitably a partisan book. It is written by a politician understandably keen to justify his actions and the actions of his party.
It is a book by an “insider” for us outside. Later in the year we will have another book on this period by an “outsider” looking in. Read Mr Andrews’ book, but read Gareth Evans’ book too

I would arge that its a partisan review by some one who whilst not an Insider is clearly on the fringe.

Mr Andrews has returned to Government whilst Alun Davies remains on the back benches neither seem to have leaned their lessons and it seems that Welsh Labour will continue to mistake arrogance  for capability.

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