Saturday, December 23, 2006

Only Labour Faces Fit

Today's Telegraph has a couple of stories which emphasise how important it is to have good 'Labour' credentials if you want recognition of any sort by the current Government. And its not just the continuing 'Cash for Peerages' row which has led to a serving Prime Minister 'helping the police with their enquiries'.

There is a big half page interview with committed Labour man, Ed Richards, who has recently been appointed to be Chief Executive of Ofcom. He is probably a good man - but he is a big Labour man. If he is as competent as his partner, Deleth Evans who was a Labour Assembly Member until the last election he will do. But that is not the point.

I was interested in his reference to "having gone through the Nolan process". The Auditor General for Wales, Jeremy Colman demonstrated his total contempt for the Nolan principles when he simply ignored it completely when appointing a deputy a few weeks back - and justified his decision by saying "what is the point if you have made up your mind already?" Quite! In Wales we saw the same thing with Dai Smith at the Arts Council. Another Labour man helping out the Labour Assembly Government's Culture Minister, Alun Pugh.

None of this would bother me - except that we also read on page 8 that the Culture Minister, Tessa Jowell has vetoed the appointment of Lord Marland as Chair of English Heritage despite his being the best candidate. The problem is that he is a Tory as well as being the best candidate. Ms Jowell has also just appointed former Labour cabinet minister, Chris Smith as Chair of the Advertising Standards Authority and Derek Mapp, a mate of John Prescott as Chair of Sport England.

What is really worrying is that these people do not see anything wrong with what they are doing.

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