Showing posts from April, 2009

The very long goodbye

Posted on the Bevan Foundation blog on 25 April 2009 Rhodri Morgan this morning gave his last speech as First Minister to the Welsh Labour Party conference. "There will be a vacancy for my job before the year is out ", he told the audience in Swansea. The wording is significant. The assumption has always been that he would trigger a leadership election over the summer to enable his successor to take over around the time of his 70th birthday in September. But I understand Rhodri Morgan intends to delay his departure until the turn of the year. It is thought that the First Minister intends spending the summer taking a Grand Tour around Wales, bidding his people farewell. A contest would not then take place until the autumn and he may not stand down as First Minister until January. Some members of the Cabinet are not pleased. Contenders have been holding back from launching their campaigns until Rhodri Morgan had triggered the contest, but some are now getting restless. It is

Fascinating fact

Posted on Bevan Foundation blog on 11 April 2009 Interesting piece in The Telegraph on Tory preparations for the General Election; buried within it is the following nugget: A private poll of Unite members – the biggest private sector union in the country with more than of two million members and a major contributor to Labour funds – showed that 34 per cent favoured Labour and 31 per cent the Conservatives. A sign of the times?

Why don't people 'get it'?

Posted on Bevan Foundation blog on April 8th I'm not an 'environmentalist', whatever that means. I think I'm fairly ordinary. Until two years ago I was reasonably content living in the Cardiff Bay bubble, gossiping, pontificating and lunching politicians. But two years on, trying to do 'my bit' , I'm growing increasingly alarmed about the way our politics works and the way we live. I was never any good at science, I always used to muck around in lessons. So I make no claim to understand the complexities of global warming. But I do know that those who do understand it are shouting at the top of their voices to warn us about a growing crisis. And every week the emerging evidence grows more alarming . Here's this week's: "A lot of the impacts we're seeing are running ahead of our expectations," said William Hare of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. However, all the experts seem to agree that it still not yet too late to t

Contest, what contest?

Posted on Bevan Foundation blog on April 3rd 2009 The Western Mail reports that Health Minister Edwina Hart is "secretly seeking support for a Welsh Labour leadership bid among her union contacts". The BBC's Dragons Eye reports that Education Minister Jane Hutt is canvassing support to stand. Avid readers of this blog will know that I think this is healthy and long-overdue. But, simply in the interests of context you'll understand, here are some figures to reflect on: Labour majorities in the 2007 Assembly election : Vale of Glamorgan: 83 (0.2%) Swansea West: 1,511 (6.6%) Gower: 1,192 (4.3%) Bridgend: 2, 556 (10.4%) Merthyr: 4, 581 (21.8%) Oh dear.