Saturday, December 12, 2009

Annunziata Rees-Mogg.

The first (and only) occasion I met Annunziata Rees-Mogg was about five years ago. I had invited Conservative Parliamentary Candidates in Wales to join me for a discussion about Assembly issues prior to the last election. I was an Assembly Member at the time. I asked this young, confident young woman what her name was. She replied "Annunziata" - not unreasonable since it was indeed her name. I think she was the candidate in Aberavon. To my eternal shame I asked her what she was known as. My only excuse is that I had never heard the name before (not having had a classical education), and I was trying to be friendly. She fixed me with an unblinking look, and said "Annunziata". "You pillock" I thought to myself - me that is. Anyway, my regard for this young woman rocketed - and even more so as she contributed to the discussion in such a knowledgeable way. I immediately marked her down as a Conservative star of the future. Perhaps I was a bit overawed because I regard her father (along with Charles Moore) as one of the two finest journalists of the age.

I have no idea whether David Cameron suggested to Annunziata that she should change her name to Nancy Mogg (Nanci if she's been contesting Aberavon again). I very much doubt it - except in jest. If he'd asked me first I'd have advised him against it. Not only do I think Annunziata should stick with her name, but I'm considering changing my name to Glyn Davies-Roberts as a gesture of support. My No 3 son did briefly consider changing his surname to O'Sullivan-Davies when he married Adrienne last year. In the event, he was just too conservative to do anything quite so radical. Whatever, I'm looking forward to hearing Kevin Maguire and his prejudiced ilk having to report on Annunziata Rees-Mogg's elevation to the Cabinet in a few year's time.


unchead said...

Frankly Glyn, isn't it about time the Conservative Party 'got on over on the Labour party' and actually stopped going for 'big names' or children of big names.

What the country needs, is not big names or children of big names, but guys and girls who actually know what to do to fix the mess this economy is in.

One of the BIG ways of doing that is to hire some big Indians - doers, instead of the usual mix of big names or based on favours to big names.

The country needs men and women who can fix it.

I am not yet convinced that this penny has dropped at Conservative Party HQ.

I am hoping it will drop at the Welsh Assembly or Wales will see another dismal repeat of the GVA economic data/report of a few days ago; "Wales at the bottom of the economic table in the UK data confirms", Western mail, Dec 9 2009, reporter: Aled Blake.

ascon said...

PS - it's results that are going to count, not big names, not pretty men or women, not children of big names - BUT RESULTS. We are beyond the point where we can be on 'cruise control' or 'as we were', the UK economy is in a BIG fat mess. India and China are moving rapidly ahead.

Glyn Davies said...

Unchead - Annunziata is not a big name - just a first rate candidate who is going to be a great parliamentarian - in my opinion of course.

farsla said...

"... great parliamentarian(s) ..."

We need more than great parliamentarians! We need people who have the knowhow, the zeal to fix the economy, to put innovation and commercial development of innovation FRONT AND CENTER/CENTRE.

The UK is a SERIOUS risk of dropping out of the top 10 world economies.

The UK is already disbanding a chunk of its aircraft (see the RAF responding to further cut-backs, they are retiring aircraft early and cutting back on flying time on the rest).

The MOD is already thinking of selling one of its yet to be built aircraft carriers to India - a sparkling new mega-carrier to India's Navy.

The UK is now on the brink – the UK is heading towards the wrong exit door of "last chance saloon".

It can’t be “business as usual” – we have to MOVE our economy forward or we will be slipping backwards like passengers slipping off the deck of a sinking ship.

B said...

Unchead – I have met, and now know Annunziata – if people like you would have the integrity to drop their inbuilt prejudices they would see an articulate, intelligent and frankly outstanding person who has both the drive and talent to take Parliament by its “lower band” and shake it to the core. We need people like Annunziata, regardless of her background or family name, to fix the diabolical mess the current gaggle of politicians have left us in. And if it is the economic situation you are concerned with – move your home to Somerton and Frome (Annunziata’s constituency) and help get her elected because she is the one to sort out this, and all our countries ills out!
Like you Glyn, I have become a bit of a fan!
Bob N

hepic said...

"B"> except Annunziata and her undoubted talents is not the issue here.

What is at issue is the state of the economy and flowery words about some nice daughter of some 'great man' will be enough to satisfy the Conservative Party.

It's RESULTS that are going to count.

Perhaps it hasn't sunk in yet but the UK economy is so in the tank there is a real risk of the UK dropping out of the top 10 economies.

Whatever party is in power after the next general election it is RESULTS that we need, not flowery nice words about some nice daughter or son of some great man or woman.

And the results we need are tied to commercializing innovation - UK bred intellectual property.

Are you aware now that China has several universities in the world's top 100? That Wales has NONE - zip, null point, empty set, a BIG fat ZERO. Scotland which has three universities in the top 100; Welsh Labour and Plaid have failed miserably at improving the terrible GVA position of Wales.

Wales's top two universities have DISMAL rankings. Cardiff is 135th and Swansea University is ranked a dismal 357th in the world rankings. Cardiff has dropped about 40 places (if memory serves) while Swansea is so far behind it is embarrassing.

In the UWIC Professorial Lecture series 2009-10, Professor Robert Huggins examined the competitiveness of Wales in a technologically advanced world and in an abridged version of his lecture, Prof Huggins concluded, “… that Wales has actually become less competitive, despite conditions seeming better than ever for the country to compete with the elite.” ("Wales is perhaps not the clever nation that it likes to believe", Western Mail, Nov 18, 2009, reporter: Aled Blake)

People with high class roots and backgrounds are not the answer per se.

We need to turn innovation into commercial R&D and JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS.

I am sick to the back teeth of hearing excuses and confident talk that the Welsh Assembly Government (“WAG”) will deliver a prosperous Welsh economy.

Where is the evidence?

What we do have is a repetitive series of ‘jobs for the boys/girls’ and flowery talk about a better future – in the context of the global economy and with former Third World countries running rings around us such words are the equivalent of ‘resting on our laurels”. NO LONGER GOOD ENOUGH – doesn’t cut it anymore.

Wales is literally at the bottom of the UK economic league tables (see, e.g., "Wales at the bottom of the economic table in the UK data confirms", Western Mail, Dec 9, 2009).

Former Third World countries are increasingly overhauling our Welsh universities, especially in terms of protecting their intellectual property. You should see the emphasis on protecting university IP that is ‘going on’ in SE Asia and increasingly so in the Middle East. The patent filing rate of Welsh universities is pathetic. The number of spin-outs vis-à-vis entrepreneurial engaged universities in former Third World nations in S.E. Asia is, well, pathetic.

Again: Swansea ranked 357th and Cardiff ranked 135th, Wales at the bottom of the UK league tables, the UK itself slipping in the world economic rankings.

PS are you aware that the UK Treasury is about to make major cutbacks in expenditure? Why? Because the UK is not earning its keep – we are falling behind. Meanwhile China has a huge sovereign fund to fall back on while we just borrow more money and give money to other countries like India, money that we have to borrow. We are already giving India and China our jobs and they are now producing PhDs at a phenomenal rate, and focusing on commercial R&D with the express intent to dominate the world economy. Nothing wrong with that, but Wales is falling behind largely for lack of home grown commercial R&D.

If you think flowery words, public school educations, great family histories is enough – think again.

B said...

You must have missed the bit where I wrote "We need people like Annunziata, regardless of her background or family name, to fix the diabolical mess the current gaggle of politicians have left us in." I say again - she, and people like her, are our future. Just for the record, I have never heard her use a flowery word ....EVER!!!

Glyn Davies said...

Steady on. I hope Annunziata doesn't visit this disagreement that swirls around her head. You are both right. We need the best people to represent us, whatever their names and background might be, and she is one of those 'best people'.