Friday, April 27, 2007

The Shipton Files.

Just back at the keyboard after two days politics. Knackered. Desperately in need of another steak and sancerre. Hope to blog later - and I want to read Arsembly's worst after last night's Waterfront, assuming he stayed awake to see it.

I asked Phill (my trusty PA) to put up the 'End of Term' assessment of AMs that has been running in the Western Mail all this week up as a draft - which I now publish. Let me know about the injustices. I have not seen them all, but I have heard from some AMs who are outraged. Will be back around 11.00 to check and do a post, including what I thought of the ITV Wales poll which predicts my p45 next week. Off for the sancerre now.

WESTERN MAIL END OF TERM REPORT


Leighton Andrews, Rhondda, Labour
Comment: Articulate if sometimes bumptious backbencher who is surely Ministerial material.
Marks out of 10: 8

Lorraine Barrett, Cardiff South & Penarth, Labour
Comment: Better than some, has improved, but struggles to make a national impact.
Marks out of 10: 4

Mick Bates, Montgomeryshire, Liberal Democrat
Comment: Tries hard but is often difficult to take seriously.
Marks out of 10: 5

Peter Black, South Wales West, Liberal Democrat
Comment: A political anorak, matured into AM who is invariably worth listening to.
Marks out of 10: 8

Nick Bourne, Mid & West Wales, Conservative
Comment: Does a very good job in the debating chamber.
Marks out of 10: 8

Eleanor Burnham, North Wales, Liberal Democrat
Comment: Not shy in putting her views across but seen by many as off the wall.
Marks out of 10: 4

Rosemary Butler Newport West, Labour
Comment; Does a reasonable job as chair of culture committee
Marks out of 10: 6

Alun Cairns, South Wales West, Conservative
Comment: Very good at holding the Assembly Government to account
Marks out of 10: 8

Christine Chapman, Cynon Valley, Labour
Comment: Although a Deputy Minister is not up to being promoted to Cabinet
Marks out 10: 6

Jeff Cuthbert, Caerphilly, Labour
Comment: Worthy but dull – former far-left militant activist who is now too New Labour for own good
Marks out of 10: 5

Jane Davidson, Pontypridd, Labour
Comment: Can come across as patronising, but undoubtedly an effective performer
Marks out of 10: 8

Andrew Davies, Swansea West, Labour
Comment: Lacks charisma, but presides over a department that has effectively trumpeted Wales’ economic success while downplaying less positive statistics
Marks out of 10: 8

David Davies, Monmouth, Conservative
Comment: Shrewd maverick and populist who draws in support even from non-Tories. Stepping down to concentrate on the parliamentary seat he won in 2005
Marks out of 10: 8

Glyn Davies, Mid & West Wales, Conservative
Comment: Thoughtful consensual Tory who arguably would have had wider appeal as leader than Nick Bourne
Marks out of 10: 8

Janet Davies, South Wales West, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Former council leader who is not a good communicator and who could give the impression of lacking confidence. Standing down
Marks out of 10: 5

Jocelyn Davies, South Wales East, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Feisty AM good at local campaigning
Marks out of 10: 7

Tamsin Dunwoody, Preseli Pembrokshire, Labour
Comment: Hard working and approachable AM who is a presentable Deputy Minister
Marks out of 10: 7

Lord Elis-Thomas, Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Has done a superb job as Presiding Officer. Has quietly achieved and immense amount in driving forward devolution
Marks out of 10: 10

Sue Essex, Cardiff North, Labour
Comment: Very popular and effective Finance Minister who is unfortunately standing down
Marks out of 10: 9

Lisa Francis, Mid & West Wales, Conservative
Comment: Hardly dynamic, but has made a fair attempt to get to grips with some important issues
Marks out of 10: 6

Mike German, South Wales East, Liberal Democrat
Comment: Experienced political operator who punches above his party’s weight
Marks out of 10: 8

Brian Gibbons, Aberavon, Labour
Comment: As Health Minister has tried to get a grip on the NHS but still has massive problems
Marks out of 10: 6

William Graham, South Wales East, Conservative
Comment: Patrician, old style Tory who often fails to convince
Marks out of 10: 5

Janice Gregory, Ogmore, Labour
Comment: Well below par performer by our reckoning
Marks out of 10: 4

John Griffiths, Newport East, Labour
Comment: Principled politician who probably deserves to be a Minister
Marks out of 10:7

Christine Gwyther, Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South, Labour
Comment: Sacked by Rhodri Morgan as a Minister she has failed to inspire as chair of the enterprise committee
Marks out of 10: 5

Edwina Hart, Gower, Labour
Comment: An assertive Social Justice Minister whose abrasive approach is not endearing
Marks out of 10: 7

Jane Hutt, Vale of Glamorgan, Labour
Comment: Disastrous Health Minister who is doing a better job now
Marks out of 10: 6

Mark Isherwood, North Wales, Conservative
Comment: Tory with a conscience who should lighten up
Marks out of 10: 6

Irene James, Islwyn, Labour
Comment: Useless nonentity as far as we are concerned. Has added nothing to the Assembly that we can see
Marks out of 10:2

Ann Jones, Vale of Clwyd, Labour
Comment: Poor performer noted only for her obsessive support of Rhyl FC.
Marks out of 10: 3

Alun Ffred Jones, Caernarfon, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Competent former council leader though hardly inspiring
Marks out of 10: 7

Carwyn Jones, Bridgend, Labour
Comment: Could be next First Minister if he puts his back into it
Marks out of 10: 8

Helen Mary Jones, Mid & West Wales, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Very good communicator
Marks out of 10: 8

Elin Jones, Ceredigion, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Intelligent and dependable contributor to debates
Marks out of 10: 7

Laura Anne Jones, South Wales East, Conservative
Comment: Has raised her game after a callow start but will never set the world on fire intellectually
Marks out of 10: 5

Denise Idris Jones, Conwy, Labour
Comment: Very low calibre. How on earth did she get the party nomination in the fist place?
Marks out of 10:2

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Ynys Mon, Plaid Cymru
Comment: While no Dafydd Wigley he has upped his performance considerably since the disaster of 2003
Marks out of 10: 8

Trish Law, Blaenau Gwent, Independent
Comment: Not the shrewd politician her late husband was but doing her best to stand up for her area
Marks out of 10: 6

Huw Lewis, Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, Labour
Comment: Thoughtful contributor who winds up the Nats even if his Hero of the Valleys persona is hard to swallow
Marks out of 10: 7

Dai Lloyd, South Wales West, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Effective representative who deserves another term though is endangered by Plaid’s policy of reserving top regional list placings for women
Marks out of 10: 7

Val Lloyd, Swansea East, Labour
Comment: By our reckoning has not made the transition from being a councillor t being a national politician
Marks out of 10: 3

John Marek, Wrexham, Forward Wales
Comment: Sometimes off beam but brings tremendous experience to the job
Marks out of 10: 7

David Melding, South Wales Central, Conservative
Comment: Urbane consensual Tory who wrote the manifesto and is one of his party’s main supporters for full law making powers at the Assembly
Marks out of 10: 8

Sandy Mewies, Delyn, Labour
Comment: Undoubtedly intelligent though has made very little impact
Marks out of 10: 4

Jonathan Morgan, South Wales Central, Conservative
Comment: High-flying and articulate. A credit to his group
Marks out of 10: 8

Rhodri Morgan, Cardiff West, Labour
Comment: Despite the occasional blunder is a larger-than-life national leader who defies the boring norm. We will miss him when he has gone
Marks out of 10: 8

Lynne Neagle, Torfaen, Labour
Comment: Consistently fails to impress
Marks out of 10: 3

Alun Pugh, Clwyd West, Labour
Comment: A truly bad Culture Minister who has managed to alienate virtually the entire artistic community in Wales. Will not be missed if, as widely expected, he is defeated next week
Marks out of 10: 4

Jenny Randerson, Central Cardiff, Liberal Democrat
Comment: Hardworking and greatly experience if somewhat short of the highest level
Marks out of 10: 7

Janet Ryder, North Wales, Plaid Cymru
Comment: No more than an average performer as Shadow Education Minister. Should not have precedence over Dafydd Wigley on North Wales Regional List in our view
Marks out of 10: 6

Carl Sargeant, Alyn & Deeside, Labour
Comment: Genial traditional Labour representative who injects much need working class perspective into the Assembly
Marks out of 10: 7

Karen Sinclair, Clwyd South, Labour
Comment: Very poor Cabinet member by our reckoning who was swiftly dumped by Rhodri Morgan
Marks out of 10: 3

Catherine Thomas, Llanelli, Labour
Comment: A good constituency AM but has failed to make an impression at national level
Marks out of 10: 6

Gwenda Thomas, Neath, Labour
Comment: Pleasant approach but often out of her depth in the Assembly in our view
Marks out of 10: 4

Owen John Thomas, South Wales Central, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Brought something distinctive to the Assembly with his passionate love of his home city Cardiff

Marks out of 10:7

Rhodri Glyn Thomas, Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Very good debater. One of Plaid’s best speakers
Marks out of 10: 8

Brynle Williams, North Wales, Conservative
Comment: Former fuel price protestor who has not shone in a group with much greater talents
Marks out of 10: 5

Kirsty Williams, Brecon & Radnorshire, Liberal Democrat
Comment: Is commanding increasing respect. Widely tipped as a future group leader
Marks out of 10: 7

Leanne Wood, South Wales Central, Plaid Cymru
Comment: Has matured into more than the megaphone politician she used to be
Marks out of 10: 7

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some of these reviews are disgraceful.

Janice Gregory. She’s been a fantastic Chair of the Social Justice committee.

One of the biggest injustices I think is the 4 given to Gwenda Thomas. Her expertise in social services, children’s issues and equality issues – and the way in which she has chaired the equality committee in the Assembly calls into serious question the objectivity of Martin Shipton’s judgement.

Trish Law – 6 out of 10 – for doing what, exactly? She leaves the chamber early to go and play bingo; she’s spoken a handful of times in debates – and she get’s 6??

Anonymous said...

What's frightening is that you probably believe this. Gwenda is a nice, worthy, lady but let's face facts her "expertise" consists entirely of unthinking support for every claptrap, middle class, metropolitan orthodoxy.

Janice Gregory is handed her script by Edwina Hart before every meeting and sticks to it slavishly. Her old man might have been a completely corrupt, bullying bastard but at least he had some independence of mind. Janice is just lobby fodder bullied by Edwina (not alone there though).

I agree with you on Trish Law but she couldn't possibly be worse than whatever labour donkey might get in in her place.

Most of the other reviews are fairly accurate except for Karen Sinclair, Denise Idris Jones and Ann Jones, which are far too flattering.

Irene James deserves an even lower rating and even worse comment but the Western Mail are probably worried about getting complaints from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Protozoa.

Anonymous said...

"What's frightening is that you probably believe this. Gwenda is a nice, worthy, lady but let's face facts her "expertise" consists entirely of unthinking support for every claptrap, middle class, metropolitan orthodoxy."

Oh don’t be so ridiculous. The review she chaired on safeguarding vulnerable children – a review which actually criticised the Assembly Government in many ways, despite being commissioned by Rhodri Morgan, received cross-party support, and Gwenda Thomas received praise from all the parties for the report – even from Jonathan Morgan.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

I think that on the whole the end of term report is extremely misogynist. How anybody can suggest that Carl Sergeant is a better AM than Ann Jones is beyond me.

The journalist who wrote that Lisa Francis is "hardly dynamic" clearly couldn't give a fig about the future of Tywyn o'r Blaenau Ffestiniog hospitals and doesn't appreciate the work that she has put in as the back bench voice of Meirionnydd Nant Conwy whilst Dafydd El has been unable to comment because of his presidential neutrality.

It looks like the person responsible for these judgements just hates the idea of women in politics, because of that his biased favouritism to the men in politics can't be trusted either.

Anonymous said...

The interesting point about these comments is that they show the power of the blogger. The first is obviously a Labour plant who knows that people read your blog,Glyn. Shhipton's comments on the whole are fair. One of the problems with the assembly is that so many members have failed to make any impression with the Welsh public. The sad fact is that many of them are female. Gwenda Thomas is anice person but she was and is a bog standard local councillor who used to be a fairly low key Chair of a social services committee.By no stretch of theimagination can she be described as an expert in social services. As for Janice Gregory she hasn't got an original idea in her whole body. She will win the Ogmore seat again only because there is no opposition. The majority of voters and many in the Labour party would like to see her defeated because they realise how weak she is. The assembly has real potential with its new lawmaking powers to do things. But you need individuals to change the world and sadly those capable of moving Wales forward are not interested in Cardiff Bay. Many of the brightest and the best in the Labour party and there aren't that many many became completely disillusioned after the farce of the 1999 selection procedure.

Anonymous said...

The first comment is from a Labour member.It is interesting to read the moans about the assessment of female Labour Ams who often make the most sexist comments themselves about opposition female AMs. The comments mad by some of the Labour'stars' about both Trish Law and her late husband are often a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Gwenda is lovely. She reminds me of my mam. Denise reminds me of my pet Goldfish.

Glyn Davies AM said...

No-one pretends these marks are anything other than an opinion. And of course some of the comments are very political. It just depends who writes them. And I don't agree with some of the assessments of my colleagues (in all parties). But I do respect Martin Shipton's judgement. He is the best qualified journalist to undertake such an assessment. And we all like Mrs Gwenda Thomas!

Anonymous said...

You are too kind to them Glyn. They are the reason why the assembly has failed to impress the majority of Welsh people and why most voters will ignore next week's election.Most of them would struggle in an average English metropolitan authority. As the Economist put it this week, the key issue in the next few years is public sector reform. Can you see any of the existing AMs even getting anywhere near producing new ideas to reform public services in Wales? As Lenin would put it'They are more interested in slogans than programmes'. The simple fact is that most of the AMs slated by Shipton have achieved very little except provide themselves and others with a good living for the past 8 years. Unfortunately ,the tragedy as the comments about certain female AMs on this blog shows is that they and other neanderthal members of the Labour party genuinely believe that they are doing a good job. It's about time they woke up and smelt the coffee

Anonymous said...

david davies has done nothing worthwhile in the assembly since he became an mp - and would have had a 2 if he hadn't been shiptons mate

Anonymous said...

"Thoughtful consensual Tory who arguably would have had wider appeal as leader than Nick Bourne" is an interesting observation by the Western Mail. That is probably the opinion of most people who support every other party, but does this opinion apply in the Conservative Party Glyn? Or are they still the same old anti-Welsh, anti-Europe, anti-everything Party they always were?

Glyn Davies AM said...

Anon 1 - I agree that public sector reform is the biggest challenge and regrettably I believe that, in Wales, there is almost no appreciation of what needs to be done. It will be driven by England and 'copied' - as was the focus on 'waiting lists'.

Anon 2 - I don't think the Western Mail's sole criteria for assessing AMs performance was related solely to the debating chamber - but also to the overall contribution to Welsh polics. David has made a big impact.

Anon 3 - I'll pass on this, except to say that political parties must be dynamic to succeed, and members change at differing speeds. I'm probably a touch too Welsh and too devolutionary for some of my political colleages - but not as much as I was 2 years ago. Conservative Party is fast shedding its non Welsh image

Anonymous said...

If the unthinkable happened and the conservatives beat plaid into 2nd place, would plaid be happy with GD as the first minister? I would!

Left Field said...

Perhaps Gwenda Thomas has improved. What put me off her was having the debate on the right to be called Mrs. I thought that it was a good job that problems the NHS and education had obviously been solved so that she could spend time on this.

Glyn Davies AM said...

Sorry but don't agree. I thought Gwenda's short debate on calling herself Mrs Gwenda Thomas was excellent. I liked the element of irony which I think she intended. I thought she was challenging the 'sitting room' politics of the Assembly and the obsession with political correctness. For me, Gwenda is a common sense champion of the equality agenda - who doesn't turn people off what is a fundamentally important issue in Welsh politics.