Only just catching up on Nick Bourne's new team in the Assembly - announced today. One or two surprises - which is great for we commentators on the political scene! Lets run through them. Since I'm a Tory myself, I hope you'll forgive me concentrating on the more positive points.
William Graham - Chief Whip, Business Manager and Group Chair. He is going to be very busy. The Business Manager bit of the job is going to be demanding and Bill will have to be quick on his feet. I think the jag will be in the Assembly car park rather more than it used to be. I hope he can cope with the stress and the orchid doesn't start to wilt.
Alun Cairns - Education. Replacing William, and will be totally different in style. Expect some turbulence. He can't be kept down. Wouldn't surprise me if he has something interesting to say about top-up fees. He will be a huge loss from the Economy brief - but needed a change for his own personal development. But will the loss of his 'economy' brief turn his eyes to Westminster? We'll soon find out.
Paul Davies - Culture/Welsh Language/Sport. Will do a first rate job here - but I hope he doesn't stay too long. He's too good to be pigeon-holed because he is a fluent Welsh speaker.
David Melding - Economy. A surprise. I didn't see this one coming. Very much new territory for David, but he is a man of remarkable ability. So he'll do ok. Perhaps he and Brian Gibbons can carry on talking about health if it all gets too much!
Darren Millar - Environment/Planning. Darren is going to be the surprise package. He has taken a lot of c**p because he has strong personal beliefs. But he's strong and is going to make a name for himself. It's not going to be a smooth road, but in 4 years time, he'll be a lead player in the Tory group.
Angela Burns - Finance. This is a tough brief for a newcomer. The budget debates will be a real challenge. I just don't know Angela well enough yet. Need to put that right. So its a case of 'wait and see'.
Jonathon Morgan - Health. He is a top man, but I thought he might want a change. I'd predicted the Economy brief. The highly sensitive debate about where neurosurgery is to go will be a real tester for him. Question we're all asking is about his Westminster ambitions. Soon find out now.
Nick Ramsey - Local Government. Nick is some one that I know , and yet don't know. So it will have to be wait and see. He's had experience as a councilor though and should do ok.
Brynle Williams - Rural Affairs. Who else!
Mark Isherwood - Social Justice. Another who picks himself for the job.
Andrew Davies - Transport. Another surprise for me. I expected his 'countryside' knowledge to be used to play him in to the role of AM. I hope his experience as Westminster candidate for Brecon and Radnor leads to him giving priority to the A470. Another case of 'wait and see'.
What is going to be interesting is how the profile of the Assembly group is going to be effected by the General Election. The Party has realistic ambitions in at least 10 seats - and will inevitable want to give a much higher profile to our Westminster candidates. I have never known Welsh politics to be so fluid.