Saturday, September 11, 2010

Up the 'greasy pole' we go.

Sir Humphrey Appleby; "Well, briefly Sir, I am the Permanent Under Secretary of State, known as the Permanent Secretary. Woolley here is your Principal Private Secretary. I, too have a Principal Private Secretary who is Principal Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary. Directly responsible to me are 10 Deputy Secretaries and 87 Under Secretaries and 219 Assistant Secretaries. Directly responsible to the Principal Private Secretary are plain Private Secretaries, and the Prime Minister will be appointing two Parliamentary Under Secretaries and you will be appointing your own Parliamentary Private Secretary."

When James Hacker asked whether any of them could type, Sir Humphrey replied "None of us can type, Mrs Mackay types. She is the secretary."

Reason this 'gem' came to mind (or rather to that of No 1 son, Edward who sent it to me today) was that this week I became a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Welsh Office. I don't think this makes me a part of 'the Government', but it does make me a part of 'the Ministerial team'. I also believe that its often interpreted as the "first rung on the greasy pole" - as John Prescott might say. Anyway, you know what I mean. Now I'm not the sort to get carried away by this sort of thing, but I do think this is rather pleasing.

OK you cynics. I know what you think - and it surely does mean the sacrifice of a degree of freedom. I can't vote against the Government (already told the Chief Whip I wouldn't - so no burden there) and it probably means a certain trimming of opinion at the edges. I see it as a trade of some 'independence' (inevitable) for some 'influence' (hopeful). And after all, its for 'influence' that many of us enter the black world of politics. Or is this the triumph of hope over realism?

Don't know precisely what this new job entails - except that by convention I do not sign EDMs, or be a member of a select Committee. But its bound to give me a role in delivering the referendum on Assembly law making powers programmed for next March. Despite my resolution on entering national politics that I would not be influenced by any desire for 'advancement' or 'preferment', I do feel rather honoured and uplifted.

13 comments:

Chris Brigg said...

A form of Principle bag carrier Glyn, keep you on the inside of the tent so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Well I do think congratulations are in order. Very pleased for you.

bonetired said...

Well done Glyn ... as you say its a start.

Will be following you from across the border!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Good move Glyn. I hope my nagging about the vital importance of Welsh IP (and using it) lurks somewhere in your grey matter - 'cause, Wales is on a downward spiral if it doesn't harness its #1 asset, and I kid u not. You can take that from a council house kid from a poor (and at times pretty desperate) family - if I worked that out - I hope you have too. This is Wales’s last hope for independence and indigenous prosperity – the great Welsh Hope.

alanindyfed said...

Now, all you have to do is to give a hand to deliver independence!! Good luck.

Gareth said...

Chris is quite right, a form of bag carrier and does not have any real role, except of course it DOES curtail what you can say.

Anonymous said...

don't let us down

tapestry said...

Well Glyn, you're now the perfect person to tell Michael Gove that Llanfyllin High School wants to go 'Academy'.

Drop him a line when you're next under the secretary.....

suzy davies said...

PPS - Pretty Prompt Success! Congrats and enjoy, well done.

Roman Jones Esq. said...

Congratulations, you are Montgomeryshire's influence in government, not the government's influence in Montgomeryshire.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn> when any of you guys at the Welsh Office or whatever passes for the WO these days visit Washington, DC.

Do and I mean do, give a little time to meet with me.

Meanwhile I'm beginning to think the Conservative Party are a bunch of insular arrogant elites - who don't want to meet council house trash like me.

Tony Blair et al. - I got to meet them in Chicago, if only for a few minutes or over dinner (the Deputy PM visited Chicago and even he ordained to meet with us - albeit I missed that dinner.

I've even met Rhodri Morgan in Washington, DC even if he didn't want to talk to me, he still shook my hand, also my mum's hand and a business partner's hand.

Also, if they want the conversation hidden under a rock, all they have to say is that they want the Chatham House Rule is in play ... and not a pipsqueek from me.

gareth said...

Well Glyn, that didn't take long did it? A bag-carrier for Cheryl Gillan. Let's hope it's not her handbag.

I think you've been gagged.

Your value to the Yes campaign and indeed your appeal to potential Conservative voters in North, West and Mid Wales has been diluted. You made your name as an independently minded conservative and pro-devolutionist. You will probably say that nothing has changed - but you will have to say it quietly. Mrs G has said the government is neutral on the issue and from now on so are you.

Anyway, the campaign will roll on without you. Don't knock Carwyn, for for setting the wagon rolling just as you've jumped off - and for heaven's don't drop Cheryl's handbag.

Glyn Davies said...

So many people who have commented on what I like to think of as a 'promotion' in negative terms that I will write a seperate post on this. I see what they are getting at (I did beofe I accepted) but I think they are wrong. Only time will tell.