Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hain for the Assembly?

Now I'm just thinking aloud. There's no 'insider' knowledge. Just thinking about what Peter Hain is going to do. Not now, or next week, when he is fully occupied 'clearing his name' - but when the dust settles. I know that some of his colleagues were talking about a 'Mandelsonian' return to front line politics (though we've heard no more since resignation day) but I just cannot see it. I don't actually see the need for any 'name-clearing' anyway. I've heard no-one question Peter's honesty - just his competence and his incredibly casual approach to the rules governing donations. No, it looks as if he is destined for a career on the back benches - and he will not like that at all.

So what else might he do? I reckon he could start eyeing up Gwenda Thomas' seat in the National Assembly. OK, I acknowledge that this blog has contemplated the possibility of 'another' cycling his way into the Neath AM slot, when Gwenda decides to call it a day. But the more I think of it, the more likely it seems to me that Peter Hain MP, will fancy treading the rock strewn highway in search of Welsh gold that has already been trod by Rhodri Morgan, Ron Davies, Alun Michael and John Marek - with varying success. You heard it here first.


Dr. Christopher Wood said...

I have to agree with you Glyn, the Clintons have strayed into wrong territory such is their desire to get back into the White House they are prepared to damage the Democratic Party and America's national interest and so they must fail with such tactics. 'Success' from the Clintons' perspective would undermine both the Democratic Party and national cohesion. It is not in the pubic interest that the Clintons win the Democratic nomination.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats said...

It's difficult to see any Labour constituency AM or candidate standing down in favour of Hain.

Perhaps he will find a place on a list and become a "second-class AM". ;-)

Frank Little

Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats said...

- and will Welsh Tories keep a welcome in the hillside for Derek Conway?

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn: what's your take on Derek Conway, the Tory MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup?

I think absent a promise not to stand again he will have to have the whip permanently removed. This kind of thing is quite outrageous, and MPs have to get the message that abuse of MP allowances is not on.

MPs should be barred from hiring their own relatives, and MPs should refrain from knowingly employing relatives of other MPs.

Prasit said...

Dr. Christopher Wood said...
Glyn: what's your take on Derek Conway, the Tory MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup?

Another nose in the trough thats what.
Dr Chris makes a very good point.

I think that is the problem with politicians having affairs to.
Not the fact they have had one, but it shows a lack of honesty.
They can no longer be trusted.
I can not believe Conway has being so naive!

Glyn Davies said...

christopher 1 - agreed

Frank - I was only thinking of when Mrs Gwenda Thomas, Assembly Member for Neath (I think) decides to retire.

Christopher and Frank - The Derek Conway issue is easy in part, and difficult in part to respond to. The easy bit is that if money is claimed without justification, appropriate action must be taken and the consequences must take their course. The Parliamentary Committee and David Cameron have made their judgements, and any further action will be a matter for the constituency association.

The difficult bit is what we do about employment of close family members by elected politicians. I've always thought it a positive arrangement. Being an AM, an MEP or an MP can mean seeing very little of one's family. But I'm not at all sure that it can continue in the future. Public perception matters in politics. I don't think I would employ my wife if I were to be elected as an MP, in the way I did when I was an AM - even though the reality is that she would inevitably be working for/with me. Previously, I maintained my 'constituency' office in our home, which allowed me to work from home some of the time, and for the office to be effectively 'manned' 24 hours a day. It was Mrs D that 'manned' it. I did several interviews on this issue during my term as an AM, defending the employment of spouses - but the political environment has changed. In any case, the advent of blackberries has made it less neccesary to have the office at home. I think that the employment of family members will be much less likely in future, even if the spouse is actually helping with the admin..

Oscar said...

If you want to have a laugh and understand why many of us think the ARSembly is such a waste of time have a look at fellow farmer Bryle William's web site.
It has not been updated for months.
Look at his surgery page, then click contact.
What a waste of space him and his web site are!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hain is a very serious politician and would certainly not want to go to the assembly.

Normal Mouth said...


You ask the question.

The answer is no.

Alan P said...

Hain want the assembly.
That some kind of joke???

I would be willing to bear my arse on the senedd steps it that were to happen!!

Prasit said...

If that is the Alan Pugh, we have seen enough of your arse in the papers, in the form of your face!

Anonymous said...

This is a very mischievious post. Firstly there is no indication that Gwenda Thomas is standing down. Secondly we all know who the mysterious cyclist is. Thirdly, Peter Hain wouldn't want to go to the Assembly. I enjoyed the idea which has probably iritated and amused in equal measure.

Glyn Davies said...

anon and alan p - you and others (David Cornock's blog) give the impression that Peter Hain is such a great man that he could never lower himself to consider the Assembly. Well, Ron Davies did, and he was every bit as big a fish in the Labour Party when he took the decision. And Alun Michael, Rhodri Morgan and John Marek had all held significant positions as well - though not as elevated as Peter, but they did not suffer the same little problem as he is facing.

NM - You seem so certain. Are you Peter Hain?

Anon - Well yes, I do admit to a fair amount of speculation here. I didn't pretend anything else. But some of the responses suggest that I might be on to something. I think its a reasonable punt on what may happen in three years time.

Glyn Davies said...

oscar - I'm not in any sort of position to comment on anyone else's website. As it happens I decided to keep mine on last night. I have not updated it since the Assembly election last May - but Sally is home next weekend to help me get going again - and she has paid the annual sub as my birthday present!

Anonymous said...

Ron Davies was an exception. Very pro devolution. Peter Hain paid lip service to devolution but understood that real power is exerted in London. Always will be.

A guy of his ego and former stature will not want to go to what he regards (correctly, probably) as a glorified county council.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Anon> U might be just right, but on the udder-hand WAG AMs have it pretty good. I don’t know about you, but I rather live in Cardiff any day of the week over London and I think I can compare Cardiff-living verses London-living having lived in London about 10 years and many more years than that in Cardiff, my home town. OK, most AMs have to travel to Cardiff, but Cardiff is nearer and has an awful lot going for it. Where-ever one lives in Cardiff one has the feeling (at least I have it) that Cardiff, while a city, is not so huge that one feels lost in it. It is easy, if one is so inclined, to know most of the ‘actors’ in Cardiff – whereas in London each part has its own Council and its own local government, so it’s a lot harder to feel part of London because of its sheer size and complexity. Yes, there’s the GLA (and there was the GLC), but London is so huge I never felt it was “my city”/”my town”, whereas in Cardiff I always feel it is my city/my town. I suppose I am saying that it’s easier to get one’s head around Cardiff than London. Additional: Hain would have less of a commute from Port Talbot to Cardiff than PT to London.

Anonymous said...

Cardiff isn't nearer if you live in North Wales. London is about 30 mins closer by road.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

An> Nearer in spirit and distance!

Hey Glyn: Hain could do a 'Brian Gould'. Remember him?!!?

Glyn Davies said...

anon - but my point was that Hain may not have the opportunity to strut the Westminster stage any more. This stuff about the research business looks as if it might devalue his credit - maybe. And in terms of philosophy, I think Peter Hain can be whatever he decides to be.

Christopher - I don't think he would ever choose the Assembly over Westminster, unless his Westminster options are closed down. And where did Gould go was it New Zealand?

anon - London is nearer to North Wales however you travel. There's not that much in it from where I live. But links between North Wales and Cardiff is another big contentious issue - and that is as much an issue in mid Wales as the North.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand Hain, so I hope we have seen the last of him. There is something about him I just don't like, for me he come across as just another power hungry politician that exudes insincerity.

Anonymous said...

what makes u think that neath will have him after what is going to come out over the next few months.

Miss Wagstaff said...

You've caused a lot of fuss with this post Glyn. You obviously had a relaxing time on holiday and now want to make mischief ;)

No offence to the National Assembly, but Hain would consider that a major step down. I'm guessing that he'd think it better to be a Westminster backbencher on a stage, than First Minister of Wales.

Anonymous said...

>Frank - I was only thinking of when
>Mrs Gwenda Thomas, Assembly Member
>for Neath (I think) decides to
I'm sure she would be delighted to step down if she thought Mr Hain would take her place. ;-)
Frank Little

Anonymous said...

"But links between North Wales and Cardiff is another big contentious issue"

No it isn't. Most people from North Wales have no wish at all to go to Cardiff. What they want are better links to north west England and London. No need to go to Cardiff.

The Finch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn> that's my recollection, Gould headed off to NZ; the (if memory serves), John Prescott was really quite discourteous to Brain Gould, imho, quite unnecessary. Then of course JP got into more than a spot of bother - the fists incident and the leg-over affair. I remember my a lady telling me that what ever JP had, its long gone; I couldn't possibly comment (further)!

Felicity said...

I would much prefer better links to the North West and better quality trains to london.
I have only been to Cardiff once. That was quite enough thank you.
Why do I need to go to and bother about Cardiff???
Chester, Manchester, and Liverpool all within between 45 mins and 90 minutes.
All Cardiff is to me is the thought of a drain on my money with that awfull Senedd.
No doubt will see Glyn when he comes to Llandudno for the Welsh conference on St Davids day.
His leader is rumoured to be coming along with that buffoon Bourne!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Well, looks like Derek Conway MP will not be standing again for the Conservative Party – one for the contemporary books.

Glyn Davies said...

anons - so you're not keen on Peter. Thats how it s with politicians, Some for and some against - but Peter does seem to generate a lot of the latter.

MW - Must admit this post generated moe comment than I anticipated. Speculation can be rather fun. Perhaps you're right about Peter's approach, but there are not many who would make that choice.

Felicity - East West routes are more important economically for all parts of Wales than North-South routes. This is also very true of Mid Wales. The case for increasing investment in N-S is to strenghthen the unit that is Wales.

Christopher - I'm off to Cardiff now to appear on AM/PM wfere I'm sure this issue will be very much on the agenda. John Marek is on as well. Well done John McCain in Florida.

Anonymous said...

The case for increasing investment in N-S is to strenghthen the unit that is Wales.

But it's not a unit. North Wales is a unit, so is South Wales. North Wales is oriented to the north-west. That's the way it is.

I see AM/PM is entertaining blasts from the past!

I'm sure McCain will value your support.

grok said...

"Perhaps you're right about Peter's approach, but there are not many who would make that choice."

Nonsense! Any serious politicioan would choose Westminster. Even you are trying to get there :)

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn: have a good trip to Cardiff, "My kind of town - Cardiff is ..."

Glyn Davies said...

anon 1 - you are looking at this issue through 'economic' eyes only.

grok - 7 MPs chose to move from Westminster to Cardiff Bay when the Assembly was established. Only 3 have tried to move the other way. Just thought I'd point that out.

Christopher - Had a good day which will instigate posts tomorrow. Bit too late now.

Anonymous said...

grok - 7 MPs chose to move from Westminster to Cardiff Bay when the Assembly was established. Only 3 have tried to move the other way. Just thought I'd point that out.

Needed some one to start the ball rolling.

Anonymous said...

people with experience

alanindyfed said...

The Assembly has no need of discredited politicians.
High calibre politicians who are beyond reproach are what is required.
The Assembly should not be tarnished by Westminster politics.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - Well, the ball is not rolling very quickly. It looks as if there will be but one AM who wishes to move to Westminster at the next election, as well as one or two others who lost seats last May. This is disappointingly low in my opinion. I would like to see more movement between the different tiers of Government.

alan - You're not being fair to Peter Hain. Like him or not, you can't argue that he is not an extremely able politician - and I do not think what he is 'tarnished' in a way which debars him from continueing in politics - though the 'think tank' issue looks a bit odd at the moment.

Hen Ferchetan said...

To comment on different things here, firstly all this talk of "everyone in North Wales hates Cardiff" is crap. The vast majority of people I know go to Cardiff much more often than Liverpool, London, Manchester or even Chester.

Secondly while, if I was stupid enough to want to be a politician, i'd rather be in the Assembly than london, Hain I doubt would feel the same. Even with his options at London now firmly closed I can't see him coming to Cardiff. In his eyes that would be a big step down.

Lastly, you can't really accuse Glyn of shunning the Assembly to go to London, he lost his seat in the Assembly, London will merely be a consolation!

Anonymous said...

glyn would certainly change the tone of the tory voice coming out of westminster and for the better