Thursday, May 31, 2007

For 'Wales' read 'Glamorgan'.

Rhodri Morgan, newly installed First Minister of Wales, has announced his new Cabinet today. He has cut it's membership from 9 to 7. There are no new Ministers and every single one of them is from the old county of Glamorgan. He has tried to pretend that this isn't a major slap in the face of North Wales by making Carl Sergeant his Chief Whip (a good appointment. Would you argue with him. Reminds me of a past Westminster Tory whip named David Lightbown).

Carwyn Jones - Education, Language and Culture.
Edwina Hart - Health and Social Services.
Brian Gibbons- Economy and Transport.
Jane Hutt - Budget and Business.
Jane Davidson- Sustainability and Rural Development.
Andrew Davies- Social Justice and Public Services Delivery.

Lets see if we can follow Rhodri's thinking. His only aim would have been to appease Plaid Cymru - very sensibly keeping an eye on survival. This is the only perspective that is worth looking at. Ability to 'do the job' will have been secondary.

Appointing only 7 leaves him room to make changes in the future if needed without too much disruption - and makes a coalition easier. He won't have forgotten the fallout from sacking Peter Law last time he coalesced.

I rate his appointment of Carwyn Jones into the Education and Language job is a really good move. Carwyn could make his name here.

I also rate his appointment of Edwina Hart to health. She is so straight-talking and consensual in style that she may agree a way forwards with the'gang of four' in particular.

Brian Gibbons will do Econony and Transport as well as Andrew Davies did. He had to be moved from health, so this isn't a bad move.

Jane Davidson in her wellies. Now there's a thought. She's going to have to eat all those Welsh lamb burgers at the Royal Welsh Show. A case of 'onwards and outwards'. I'd like to be there when Brynle makes his first politically incorrect sexist comment. There'll be some fur flying.

Jane Hutt at Budget and Business. I suppose the budget is such a complex subject which no-one properly understands - so perhaps Jane is an appropriate appointment. Anyway, if Rhodri has any sense, he will let Plaid Cymru write his budget. Only way to stop the 'No Confidence Motion'.

And Andrew Davies. He really must be 'cheesed off' with his move. Big job though - and he will be relieved to get away from the snapping teeth of Alun Cairns. Will be a help in cementing his appeal with all those Labour 'movers and shakers' in Local Government - in preparation for the big leadership contest, whenever it comes.

Rhodri has frozen out the nat-bashers. That'll teach you Leighton. But the 'Glamorgan Mafia' label will stick. Sandy's a cert for Deputy Minister now. Looking forward to Shipton's take on things tomorrow.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

an astute analysis but is it enough to keep rhodri in his job until the summer.
and how do you know the bourne will not send alun cairns to his new job to hunt him down?

earthshaker said...

good take on events but the nat bashers did ok Huw Lewis is Deputy to Brian Gibbons at Economy and Transport - scary stuff !!

Welsh Spin said...

Largely concur with you here Glyn.

Clearly the FM resolved to rotate everyone in a fashion that left no clear winners or losers, with Jane Hutt the one stable feature.

I don't agree that AD will necessarially be 'cheesed off'. I think he will welcome the chance to takeover a souped up public services / social justice brief that will boost his lamentable recognition factor amoung Labour voters.

You are right that Brian will make a decent fist of EIN. He was a good transport deputy before his elavation to Health in 2005. He has earned a good reputation in the Health job among those professionals who understand that change is necessary if the NHS is to cope with the demands scietific advance and an elderly population is placing on it. Edwina's move to Health will certainly give senior officials and Trust / LHB Chief Execs food for thought ...

The JD / Carwyn straight swop will give both the chance to show they are more than single trick ponies.

Wonder if he'll appoint the full quota of deputy ministers?

Do you think there's any chance of Alec Carlisle being nominated as Counsel General?

Anonymous said...

// Sandy's a cert for Deputy Minister now //

No she isn't. Deputies are:

Huw Lewis (Economy)
Leighton Andrews (Social Justice)
John Griffiths (Education)
Gwenda Thomas (Health).

No further appointments.

The Silurian said...

Glyn.

People talk about Welsh politics being stuck in the past.

I did not think they were talking about the 10th Century though!!

gwe said...

I agree Glyn - this seems to be a cabinet that fairly screams some kind of deal with Plaid in the future. He chose this team knowing full well he would be letting himself open for exactly the kind of criticism you - and Mr Bourne also - have levelled at him.
After you posted, news has come of his deputies. Very astute of him to include Huw and Leighton, which will keep others in his party happier. Rhodri clearly means business - all talk of him being too old and tired was patently nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Four new Deputy Ministers have been appointed by the First Minister today (31 May, 2007) to support the new Cabinet. The Deputy Ministers will have specific responsibilities for key areas of Ministerial portfolios.

The four new Deputy Ministers are:

Gwenda Thomas Deputy Minister to the Minister for Health and Social Services with special responsibility for Social Services.

Huw Lewis Deputy Minister to the Minister for Economy and Transport with special responsibility for regeneration.

Leighton Andrews Deputy Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery with special responsibility for housing.
John Griffiths Deputy Minister for Education, Culture and Welsh Language with special responsibility for skills.


The First Minister said: “These key appointments complete the Government team. The four new deputy Ministers have proved their mettle in the previous administration and will provide strong support to Ministers in their portfolios. Huw Lewis and John Griffiths have both served as Deputy Ministers and bring great experience and expertise to their new roles.

“I am very pleased to welcome Gwenda Thomas and Leighton Andrews to their new roles. Gwenda has been a great champion for children leading our Review of Vulnerable Children in the past administration. Leighton has the strong communication skills needed to work closely with everyone who has an interest in the issue of affordable housing and is a former board member of Tai Cymru.

“We will be nominating Christine Chapman as Wales’s representative on the European Union’s Committee of the Regions in succession to Rosemary Butler who is standing down following her election as Deputy Presiding Officer.”

The appointment of Carl Sergeant as Deputy Minister for Business and Chief Whip was announced earlier today.

Valleys Mam said...

as I said on my blog -its hard to shuffle when you dont have a full deck

Anonymous said...

HUW LEWIS AND REGENERATION, WELL FIRST OFF YOU HAVE TO KEEP PEOPLE IN THE VALLEYS. MAKE SURE THOSE ON A GOOD WAGE DON'T UP AND LEAVE, MAKE SURE SCHOOLS ARE GOOD ENOUGH.................HMMMMM?

Bwganbrain said...

I cannot believe that these are clever appointments.
"Man-for-man" the rainbow shadows will eat them all. Rhodri is not building a team for the future, no new faces, no new energy, just a re-shuffled mediocrity.
The Rainbow needs to strike quickly before the cwtshing up to to Plaid negates the possibility of real change.

Bwganbrain said...

Who is the new Sue Essex - surely it can't be Jane Hutt, where are the responsibilities for Finance?

Glyn Davies said...

Welsh spin - its Alex Carlile, and I should have thought of that one. That's a good call - if he's prepared to take the cut in wages.

Anon- - 4 deputies and no North Wales rep - I can't believe it.

And bwganbrain - there is no-one to touch Sue Essex. And I think that the fantasy Rainbow Cabinet I posted a week ago would be much better.

Anonymous said...

Carwyn will have to get his arse in gear and actually do some work for the first time ever!

I think we should wait and see what happens my bet is nothing will change and it will in fact get worse.

We are all losers in Wales under Labour we are just waiting for the next thing they manage to stuff up.

Montgomeryshire Witness said...

I hope Alex Carlile doesn't become Counsel General. It would add to much credibility to the Assembly!! So we're pretty much a South Wales/Cardiff centric cabinet again. What's new!

Anonymous said...

what do you think of the deputies glyn

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - I too want Labour out, mainly because I want voters to realise that Wales is not a one-party state. Admittedly, I have a partisan interest as well.

Mont witness - I think that Alex Carlile would make a good Consul General - even if he did more than anyone to scupper the Rainbow Coalition. Wouldn't be long before Dafydd Elk was on Dragon's Eye though, telling us how useless he is. He would take the place iof John Marek

As far as the deputies are concerned, I'm pleased to see Leighton moving up, but still staggered by the dismissal of North Wales. This will come back to haunt Labour at the General Election

Anonymous said...

Glyn - there are five deupties - not for. Carl Sargeant is one of them and he will attend every cabinet meeting as chief whip

Christopher Glamorgan said...

Glyn, it looks like Welsh Spin and your good self have this politics prediction sewn up. Even though you've also predicted the future coalition government, I look forward to future posts on the make-up of the 'Spectrum Arc Government' and whether it takes its place in time, however, we’ll have to work on the name :-D.

P.S. Have you noticed that the Wales link on the BBC News site stands out as being blue in colour... have you been working on them???

http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Anonymous said...

Glyn, Bugger the rest of Wales !! we've lost it allready, the map of Wales is only red within 50 miles of Cardiff, with a little smug in the N east, and we're in power so ha ha Glyn dream on in your fantazy world

Che Grav-ara said...

Your right glyn, This is clearly designed to try and hold on to power that little bit longer. Considering this government has failed Wales for the past two election term you would thing Rhodri would wont to make a stament and show he was indeed a listening government. If the people of wales have hit you in the poles you make chnages if your listening. If you're blind and deaf to their protests you stick with the same tired formula. I guess rhodri has already shown what type of administraition he is planning on running!

Patriot said...

Are the opposition parties in the new right wing alliance giving any thought as to how their planned coup etat is playing out amongst the welsh public? Due to opposition party actions and incompetence Rhodri was unopposed as first Minister. The rainbow had its chance and blew it. As in Scotland it is now the job of the opposition to make that government work effectively for Wales. Hold it to account yes - plot and snipe against it no.

Wales voted for a left of centre coalition that should have been built around the largest party. This is now what should happen. You will see how popular the Tories coming into government is when the first opinion polls are published on the prospect of the ‘rainbow’. Will you still support this ‘rainbow’ coup when it is clear that the people do not want it?

Anonymous said...

Che Grav-ara said...
/. If you're blind and deaf to their protests you stick with the same tired formula. I guess rhodri has already shown what type of administraition he is planning on running! /

Labour has a time bomb ahead of it and it would take a miracle for the party to survive being in power both in Westmister and Cardiff. There is the aftermath of the terrible nuLabour government, the one even Blair is running away from as fast as possible. We have an economic crisis ahead which will hit Wales in a big way. The hospital closures, the pension debacle, high tax on the working class, letting the rich off lightly on taxation, and stunning lack of quality research before important decisons.

Not only is Rhodri short of quality in his cupboard but the recent line up for Deputy PM showed how very desperate Labour is for some talent in Westminster.

Anonymous said...

Glyn said:
/but still staggered by the dismissal of North Wales. This will come back to haunt Labour at the General Election /

Maybe Rhodri doesn't care any more. Maybe if he chose someone from the North his little valley soldiers would throw their teddys out etc, because North is too welsh;-)

With Labour votes fast disappearing in the south you'd expect him to at least try and appease the party in the north by giving anyone a position.

Glyn Davies said...

christopher - I believe that there will be a 'spectrum arc coalition'. ButI agree with patriot that there will have to be a very good reason for turfing Rhodri out. Voters will not like a coup 'simply because we can'.

Che - I am more optimistic than you. Rhodri intends to be consiliatory (ok so he has no choice) but it is better than the insufferable arrogance we have seen in the past.

Patriot - good point about opposition incompetence. It was there and the Lib Dems 'blew it'. There cannot be a'coup' without a good reson that resonates with the public. In the meantime there must be constuctive opposition and 'holding to account'.

And anon - I hope that Rhodri cares about all of Wales - even if his appointments make it look as if he doesn't care about anywhere outside Glamorgan

northlistcandidate said...

Good analysis Glyn - I was sorry to see you lose out on election night.

Gibbons to ruin the economy in order to match his performance at health and Sargeant representing the North with whip in hand (he certainly has the looks for it!). All one can hope is that Glamorgan CC will perform better than Rhodri's team; but who cares I'm a Lancashire member.

Glyn Davies said...

Glamorgan C C have created the low base which enables them to have a better season.

We're Worcestershire C C supporters - nearest club to mid Wales.

The Silurian said...

Glyn.

I guess Rhodri Fach has appointed what amounts to his "Friends" you could call them "The King's Friends".

King Morgan and his Glamorgan clan will runs things now. But for how long? When Will King Ieuan launch his own attempt to overthrow the High King.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

Glyn Said Jane Davidson in her wellies. Now there's a thought. She's going to have to eat all those Welsh lamb burgers at the Royal Welsh Show.

Isn't Jane Davidson a vegetarian?

Glyn Davies said...

silurian - the coup will come just before the summer recess, giving new 'Rainbow' ministers two months to bed in before facing publiuc scrutiny - or in Nov/Dec over the Budget. If it goes beyond that, other electoral considerations will come into play - and rhodri may have more chance of creating his own coalition.

alwyn - I didn't know that Jane is a vegetarian. Christine Gwyther, the first Assembly Minister with resposibility for farming was - and it caused a major rumpus with the farming unions - so I would be surprised.

Anonymous said...

Dai Lloyd has threatened Edwina Hart with a vote of no confidence (South Wales Evening Post) if the Neurosurgery at Morriston Hospital is closed.

Glyn Davies said...

Personally, I think Dai is a bit silly to have done that. I can see a free vote coming on this issue. Its impossible for a layman to know which is the best way to go on this. I prefer the Swansea option myself - because it is more accessible to West Wales - but I wouldn't go against considered opinion which told me that this option would provide a poorer service - and neither should Dai.

Anonymous said...

Glyn Davies said...
"Personally, I think Dai is a bit silly to have done that. I can see a free vote coming on this issue. Its impossible for a layman to know which is the best way to go on this. I prefer the Swansea option myself - because it is more accessible to West Wales - but I wouldn't go against considered opinion which told me that this option would provide a poorer service - and neither should Dai. "

If it's moved the lives of many with emergency neuro problems from South West Wales will be put at risk. That is not in dispute. The doctors don't call it a poorer service, it's the Assembly which wants to invest more in the Cardiff hospitals again. Can you imagine having a serious stroke in Pembroke and having to travel that awful road to Cardiff for life saving treatment? You would not make it. We have come to expect decent emergency medical care within a certain distance but this is such a backward step it might even fall under Human Rights.

Glyn Davies said...

I share your concern about access for West Wales - which is why my instinctive response is to agree with you. This is going to be a big call for Edwine Hart.

Glyn Davies said...

I share your concern about access for West Wales - which is why my instinctive response is to agree with you. This is going to be a big call for Edwine Hart.

Anonymous said...

Glyn Davies said...
"I share your concern about access for West Wales - which is why my instinctive response is to agree with you. This is going to be a big call for Edwine Hart."

They should never have been considering closing the unit in the first place. It is working well, brilliant consultants and a lifeline to a large area. But all Neuro departments are expensive and Cardiff obviously wants more.
There was the Paediatric department that went to Cardiff and all that money raised over south wales resulted in a centre for Cardiff and it's localities.
The same would happen with the Neuro Unit, but this time many from the west will die when they are turned away due to full wards . Or they never make the journey. People need immediate help when they have strokes.

All this is about getting centres of excellence centred in Cardiff. It is irresponsibly greedy to deny a vital lifeline in an area in order to develop a political showcase as the paediatric ward turned out to be.