Sunday, January 27, 2008

Edna Mopbucket living in fear.

Edna rang me on the mobile earlier tonight. I could hear her quivering with fear. As it happens I was in the Police Station which made things worse. She is absolutely petrified of what Carl Sergeant is going to do to her. The conversation became very confused because she was in such a state, and I made things worse when I insisted that I was talking to an Inspector, not a Sergeant. When we had sorted that out, I tried to tell her that Big Carl is a gentle soul, all 'gruff' and 'muscle' and wouldn't hurt a fly.

She just screamed "He's a bloodthirsty brute. He's got a chief whip. They're all bloodthirsty brutes. They're terrifying." It seems that Edna had been cleaning outside the Labour offices and there had been some discussion going on about Lyn Neagle, one of the Labour AMs. It seems that she has defied the Chief Whip, the aforementioned Mr Sergeant on 4 separate occasions, and she was going to have to be 'dealt with'. Discussions about the precise nature of the punishment was discussed in hushed tones, which only made Edna fear the worst. She wanted me to involve the Inspector, who would have authority over a sergeant, but I told her that they would not dare tangle with Lyn.

First of all, Lyn Neagle might be small, but she is not to be trifled with. Rather Carl than me is what I say. And anyway, she's married to Huw Lewis, another AM who can fight. At least, I assume he can, because Huw was the only AM to invite another AM, Plaid's Owen John Thomas to step outside the debating Chamber for a fight during the 8 years that I was an AM myself. I told Edna that I would be willing to pay for a ticket, if she could find out where Lyn was going to be 'dealt with'. Of course Edna could have misheard the whole thing.

31 comments:

Valleys Mam said...

Lynne the neck that turns the head.
Learned from her former employer Glenys K.
But may be just a gal who sticks to her principles

Anonymous said...

very entertaining, but you better watch your back next time in cardiff. carl will be waiting for you

Miss Wagstaff said...

Carl is a softy and has become my Facebook friend. I'm still waiting for soppy Glyn to confirm friendship ;)

Glyn Davies said...

vm - You're right. I too remember Lynne as an AM who would stand her ground.

anon - Miss wagstaff is right to say the Carl is a gentle soul - which is what I was telling Edna. But she would have none of it.

MW - I will visit my facebook site tonight. I also need to decide today whether to scrap my website, or update it. I have not done much with either since losing my Assembly position - but the annual subscription is due next week!

Anonymous said...

has this disciplinary story been in the media. where was it reported. do you know what the punsihment is. have the police been called in.

grok said...

I'm astonished to hear they have whips in the welsh assembly. Just like a real parliament, isn't it? What terrible punishments can they hand out?

Never heard of Lyn Neagle. Is she by any chance related to the famous actress Anna Neagle?

Tonypandy Toddler said...

Another pathetic day in the Assembly. Meanwhile in the real world we have a gay MP writing a report about teenage pregnancy in Wales. You couldn't make it up if you tried!

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I have not seen this story anywhere else - but in my experience, Edna is a very reliable source.

grok - or Eddie the Neagle even. They do have whips in the Assembly - and fierce they can be. You should see the Tory Whip, William Graham when he's stirred up - fearsome!

Tonypandy toddler - unfair in my opinion. There is much that can be reasonably described as 'pathetic' in every Debating Chamber in the world. Have you seen those long dreary speeches at Westminster, when there are about 5 MPs in the chamber? - or the non stop dreariness of the European Parliament. The Assembly is at its poorest when the debate is about something over which AMs have no control.

Anonymous said...

Interesting... so what did Lynne Neagle break the whip on? Good for her, glad to see that some Assembly Members have the guts to stand up for what they believe in (and stand up to Carl Sargeant). I'd love to hear more about this.

On a separate issue, what are you trying to say about Carl Sargeant, calling him a softy and a gentle soul?!

Tim Would said...

Would this by any chance be the same Carl Sergeant who is in line for a bumper pay rise (thousands of pounds) as chief whip, despite having no need to actually do any 'whipping' due to the huge Plaid / Labour voting block?

Paul Davies said...

Ha ha, well at least it looks like Lynne Neagle is making Carl Sargeant earn that extra money - keep it up Lynne!

Glyn Davies said...

anon - perhaps the media will follow this story up. Edna didn't hear what she rebelled on - but I guess it was to do with her committment to the alleviation of poverty. Lynne is definitely an AM of principle - and even though I did not always agree with her, I usually thought that she was making some good points.

tim - They chant on the terraces of North Wales that "There is only one Carl Sergeant".

And I recall Edna breaking the story about massive salary increases for the Party Whips sometime last year. She doesn't miss much.

paul - I'm with you there. we need something to liven up the place. Its gone a bit 'dead' with this big Government majority.

Anonymous said...

The Assembly is at its poorest when the debate is about something over which AMs have no control.

If they have no control over it, why bother debating it? Trying to fill up available time?

Anonymous said...

what about the tories proposing a motion about supporting the police this week when policing is not devolved?

Methane Mike said...

"I'm astonished to hear they have whips in the welsh assembly. Just like a real parliament, isn't it? "

No it will never be like a real Parliamemnt.
The Conservatives should play it straight and come out and say, 99% of us still think it a total waste of time and OUR money, some like Glyn have gone native, most have not.
We should not have a PPC that has such views on the ARSEmbly.
Talking of whips, they should whip him into line.
Some have ideas way above their station.
Give me an old time PPC any day.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - bit like the House of Commons debating the EU Treaty perhaps. In general I agree with you, unless it is something special. The one example I remember being in favour of was a debate on the decision to invade Iraq.

anon 2 - Not sure about this one. There could be a link with a devolved matter.

MM - Not sure where you get the 99% from. I accept that there are a significant number who think that the Assembly should be abolished - but I do not think there is a single Conservative PPC who thinks this - so why pick on me. All the polling evidence I see tells me that an increasingly large majority of the people of Wales suppport retention of the Assembly, including a majority of Conservatives. Our Party's official policy is to make a success of the Assembly. You're entitled to your opinion - but there is no evidence at all to justify your assertion that there is majority support for it.

Welsh Spin said...

It is a staggering comment on the powers that be in the Assembly that a Member such as Lynne Neagle who has Labour written through her in a way similar to Blackpool rock is now being hauled over the coals. One can only presume that such vindictiveness is a carryover from Lynne's courageous stance over funding for disabled children's services back in late November and indeed her role as key spokesperson for those uneasy about coalition with the welsh nationalists.

With all due respect to Rhodri and his acolytes swarming around the second floor of the senedd, setting the heavies (i.e. Sargey) on Lynne will achieve nothing. Since Ms Neagle does not seek ministerial office or any of the minor perks (CPA, committee chairs etc.) there are no meaningful sanctions that are likely to prove much of a deterrent to either her or certain other Labour Members who backed the 2003-07 government with its slim to non-existent majority steadfastly. Now that the gvernment enjoys an obscene majority it could afford to be a tad more relaxed about Members showing some independence of thought.

I agree with Glyn that the Connahs Quay clown will be told to go boil his head in terms. What then? For the first time in her eight years as an AM Neagle is now enjoying better support from her constituency party than she's ever known. Moreover, her Torfaen counterpart Paul Murphy is now suddenly in a position to veto LCO's with the stroke of a pen. He will not wish to see Lynne hung out to dry.

In due course the Labour Group will hold its AGM (usually in mid May) and this will see Lynne voted out as Group Chair (probably by Commissioner Barrett). There is no benefit to the leadership in jumping the gun and turning Lynne into a martyr on the eve of what promises to be a pretty fiesty party conference in Aberconwy ...

Glyn Davies said...

Welsh spin - Edna tells me that a letter is to be sent to Lynne's constituency party. If you're in the know about her constituency party's opinion, it seems that this won't have much effect. Lynne is one of those AMs that I liked because she stuck to her guns - and was willing to argue her corner with spirit. Makes no odds that I might have disagreed with her. If Edna is telling me the truth (and I've had it supported from other sources) it shows a childishness that will lead to mockery. What we need is for the media to start asking some direct questions about this - so that we know what has really happened. No way would any party spokesman tell us but Lynne would not tell an untruth if she was asked a direct question.

Anonymous said...

Methane Mike is exaggerating, but only a bit. Most people I know think that the assembly is a pointless waste of money and that assembly members are of very poor quality. Very few people want it. A referendum would prove that.

Anonymous said...

I accept that there are a significant number who think that the Assembly should be abolished - but I do not think there is a single Conservative PPC who thinks this - so why pick on me.

Au contraire, Glyn old mate. I know at least two PPCs and very many Welsh activists who would abolish the Assembly tomorrow. I'm sure quite a few MPs would too.

Oscar said...

Glyn,
you need to get out more.
anonm is quite correct.
You are SO out of touch on this assembly business ,its just not true what you are peddling.
Here in North Wales hardly a person you speak either cares or bothers about the assembly.
You need to examine your conscience about what your are saying about this.
Unless of course you have gone native!

Glyn Davies said...

anon and oscar - Of course there are lots of people who would abolish the Assembly tomorrow - literally hundreds of thousands of people. There are lots of them in Montgomeryshire. In some places its the popular line to take - which is why Ukip have gone down that road. I've always regarded it as an entirely logical opinion. I was dissappointed when my party dropped the idea of abolition being an option in a referendum because it frustrates too many people like you who now feel disenfranchised. But it was dropped. In any case, in my opinion abolition is just not going to happen.

I just try to deal in realities. We are where we are, and I just ask myself what is the best available course to take from here. Devolution is a reality, and power is being devolved at present via Legislative Competence Orders with no reference to the people. The Assembly exists and I think that the Conservative Party should seek to exercise power within it. At the local government level, I still detest the idea of Powys as a council rather than Montgomeryshire - but I'm still trying to develop a Conservative presence on it.

Interesting what you say about PPCs. Most I know agree with me about this. Some are against any more power being transferred to the Assembly - but I'm afraid the second Government of Wales Act is already in place. The pass is sold. I know of none who advocate abolition.

Cathy Wain said...

I agree with 'Welsh Spin', it's pretty shocking that Lynne Neagle is being disciplined, particularly if it was to do with the money for disabled children. Seems rather like the Rhodri and his gang are still sore that Lynne Neagle dared to stand up and say what she believed, not just follow aimlessly after them like a number of other AM's I could mention.
The Labour party, Lynne's constituency and her local party should all be proud to have such a determined and principled AM.

Anonymous said...

Good for Lynn sticking up for her principles, and how stupid are WAG to discipline her over an issue such as disabled children. Lynn could easily have just voted with the rest but instead she stuck to her principles and good for her. Those disabled children deserve the money that was supposed to be for them. Maybe Rhodri is just scared of Lynn Neagle, she's not one to drop an issue when she's taken it up, and good for her.

Anonymous said...

Newsflash - Carl seen in the vicinity of Lynne Neagle's office - wearing his I'm going to be nasty face!

Glyn Davies said...

Carl looks at his most threatening when he's smiling.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that I, as someone who takes a pretty keen interest in politics, watches Question Time, etc, have never heard of either Lynne Neagle or Carl Sergeant?

They're never reported.

Glyn Davies said...

This post was very 'inside track'. You are right that neither Lynne nor Carl are high profile politicians - and probably dod't seek to be. But, within the Assembly, they have both carved out their own niche. Lynne is very much an 'issues' person rather than someone who speaks on behalf of the Labour Party. And Carl is their Whip. This is just me thinking of course.

Anonymous said...

peter black has confirmed that huw lewis wannted to fight owen john thomas on che grav era's blog which is all very funny and will increase huws popularity in merthyr

Southpaw Grammar said...

As someone who is in Lynne's CLP in Torfaen, i can assure you she has my own personal support. My understanding (although i may have misheard it) was that she voted against the whip on disabled children fundings and the local government settlement. She has my own personal backing on both these matters, and from i can gather this was the majority view.

Glyn Davies said...

Had a chat with both Lynne and Carl today. They were both friendly. Lynne did not look in any way injured. But there absolutely no confirmation that a letter has been sent to her constituency party. If you are part of the local CLP perhaps you can let us know when the letter arrived. I wouldn't mind knowing what Carl said to Lynne when he 'visited' her office yesterday. In the spirit of transparency, we should be told these things.