Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cheryl Gillan - Top Class SoS

Always a bit concerned when I get a mention in the threatening media - and none is more threatening to a Welsh MP that an appearance in a David Cornock or Betsan blog post - which is what happened to me today. I also made an appearance in the 'Indie' (so I'm told) making what was described as a chauvinistic comment about the Internet punch-up between ex-MP, Louise and Nadine. I deny this description absolutely. Seems I said I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of either of them - which is fair enough I think. They are both very ferocious in debate.

But back to Mr Cornock, and his blog post today. I'm entirely happy with what he wrote - perhaps a first. For months I have indeed been 'banging the drum' for my boss, Cheryl Gillan. I reckon she's done a great job as Secretary of State for Wales. On all the big issues she's called it right. She delivered the referendum on law-making powers for the National Assembly for Wales - which I do not believe Labour's Peter Hain would have done if he had been returned to office in 2010. She 'kicked butt' to drive it on. She badgered her Cabinet colleagues to deliver major electrification of railway lines. She succeeded in getting all party support for the Silk Commission to advise on tax raising powers and extending other powers to the National Assembly for Wales. And much else. This is a bl*****Y good record, and one which deserves the full blooded support of the MP who has served as her PPS for the last 2 years.

Now I have no idea what the Prime Minister has in mind, and of course I'll support his judgement. I do not even know if its the 'done thing' for me to write what I'm writing - and under normal circumstances I would not have done so. But the 'armchair reshufflers' got to me - commentators outside of Wales, who know little of our nation openly diminishing the achievements of a hard-working, shrewd and top class politician. Whatever, I feel better for that.


Prasit. said...

Well of course if she were go there is a very able Minister ready to fill her shoes in David Jones isn't there?
Perhaps have an English MP as his deputy?
It appears to be common knowledge that you were appointed a PPS to keep your shoot from the hip comments a little more controlled than if you were on the back benches.

Glyn Davies said...

Prasit - Must admit that I had not heard that. Do you think it worked? David is a Parliamentary Under-Secretary - and a very good one in my opinion.

Oscar said...

What do you think about CG threatening to resign over the rail link, is that a good or a bad thing for a cabinet member to do?
Should a cabinet member not show loyalty to their government?

Alwyn ap Huw said...

I admire your loyalty Glyn. Personally I don't rate Ms Gillan, she would not be in my top rankings of SoS Wales (this is not anti Tory ranting I would put both William Hague and David Hunt higher than three out of the four SoS's we had under the last Labour period of government).

No matter how good a SoS for a non Welsh constituency is, it suggests either that none of the Welsh constituency members are good enough for the job or that it is a Cabinet post of little consequence to the Government and one that can be wasted as a sop!

In the cases of Peter Walker and John Redwood, as sops to the rebels within the Tory Party.

For William Hague it was work experience rather than a proper job; and during the whole of that period the job was never given to the best SoS that Wales never had - Syr Wyn!

True or not; the perception is that Ms Gillan was appointed at the tail end of discussion about cabinet membership, when it was realised that the number of female members of cabinet was on the short side. Suggestions about her replacement seem to be more focused on cabinet gender balance than on the best person to represent Wales around the cabinet table. I'm all for gender balance in government but It's only Wales - a woman will do is not quite Wimins Lib!

If I was given blind CV's of all potential candidates for the job; the one that I would focus on would be for a certain Glyn Davies; a non career politician with experience in politics at all levels -coupled with a career and experience outside the political bubble! In these days of the need for co-operation between Assembly and Parliament – who better than one who has experience of both!

It would be sad Glyn, if your loyalty made you a second Syr Wyn – the next best Secretary of State we never had!

Kick arse like you use to do in your rugby days, Glyn! Put your name into the mix!

Glyn Davies said...

Oscar - I've read this many times, but have never seen or heard any evidence to confirm it as true. Bearing in mind the impact on her constituency, I'd say she has been incredibly loyal.

Alwyn - Your comment amused me and others I'm sure. But I do agree that Syr Wyn would have been an excellent choice as Secretary of State - very shrewd and wise