Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rhodri faces up to public anger over Hospital Closures

There was a huge turnout on the front steps of the Sennedd today at a protest by people from all over Wales concerned about the future of Community Hospitals. It was clear that aside from the admirable Edwina Hart, no member of the Government was willing to face up to the people. Well done Edwina. She wins respect. It was obvious to us all that neither Rhodri Morgan nor Brian Gibbons was willing to face the anger of the hundreds present.
But fate played its hand. There was a photo-op arranged by Amnesty International on the steps just inside the front glass wall of the Sennedd of all the male AMs declaring their opposition to domestic violence at the same time. Rhodri was in the front row smiling (or at least trying) for the camara while 10 yards away 300 placard waving protesters were being conducted by Kirsty 'Barbarolli' Williams chanting his name. I have not yet seen the photographs but I see the word 'rictus' coming to my mind. The sheer oddness of the situation gave the rest of us had a genuine reason to smile.
Someone told me that Brian Gibbons came a touch late for the photo shoot and panicked in the way early settlers did in the Wild West when the Indians appeared over the Horizon. I refuse to believe that he was seen running full tilt across the top floor restaurant area shouting "Circle the Wagons".
It really was a first class protest and I think the Government are on the back foot. This is why they are doing everything they can to push any controversial decisions to the other side of the election.

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