Showing posts from December, 2009

Rhodri looks down the well

Posted on This is My Truth on 27 December 2009 Martin Shipton has written an interesting valedictory interview with Rhodri Morgan in which he reflects on his own political philosophy and the challenges ahead. It is worth a read In one passage that caught my attention Rhodri muses "What are the limits to which left-of-centre parties can go?". He said: “It’s going to be very much put to the test over the next few years now in this period of taxation restructuring which we are having to have in Britain because North Sea oil revenue is going out. We’re going to have to start making things again and encourage capital and enterprise to make up the trade gap because we haven’t got North Sea oil and gas any more. “We’ve got a 30-year run of oil and gas, then it’s gone. There’s a massive change in the economy needed now, so you have to persuade people with the capital to use the capital or borrow capital to run those businesses, and run those businesses to believe that Wales is a v

Everybody wants to win an Oscar

Posted on This is My Truth on December 12th So the dust is settling. Oscar is a Tory. In his defence he is not claiming his defection to be an act of principle. In a candid interview with the Golwg website he confirmed that the reason for his shift was that the chances for advancement were greater with the Tories - even suggesting he may have had reassurances that the number 2 spot on the south east Wales list would be his. Indeed at the press conference to announce his defection he said he looked forward to 'playing an important role in the shadow team within the National Assembly'. As Paul Flynn has recorded "His four changes of party all coincided with times when his chosen party was in the ascendancy". Oscar seems unashamed. Indeed in an interview with the Politics Cymru blog he seemed bewildered by all the fuss - it is worth a look. There's been much venting of spleen, which is understandable - as is the inevitable criticism of the list system and its a

Show offs

Posted on This is My Truth on 8 December There is no shortage of assessments of Rhodri Morgan today, so I'll leave the political obits to others. But I was struck by Rhodri's assessment of Ryan Giggs in naming him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night: "I think it's incredibly wonderful to be an incredibly good player and not a show-off". In its editorial this morning the Western Mail concluded of Rhodri "Wales is in his blood". I think that's right, and his assement of Giggs is therefore especially insightful. I'm wary of ascribing traits to nations. I always stuggle with the question 'what makes the Welsh different' and take care not to fall back on trite romanticiation. But I think Rhodri has hit on something here. We admire talent, application and learning, but we don't like a show-off.

Hey, hey Copenhagen

Posted on This is my Truth on December 7th As I remember it that was the title of the B side of Black Lace's classic 80s disco track Agadoo. But today the focus on the city is a little more mainstream. 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial . "The science is complex but the facts are clear" the editorial says: Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted. Bu

Power brokers?

Posted on This is My Truth on 2 December An interesting feature of Carwyn Jones' decisive victory was the trade union section of the electoral college. It has been widely assumed that with the majority of 'regional' Union executives backing Edwina Hart their members would follow suit. One of the more sobering images of the early part of the campaign was the welcome extended by Unite boss Andy Richards to his favoured candidate. But far from being an uncomfortable echo of 1999the result throws doubt on the influence that union leaders have on their members. Carwyn Jones was on virtually level pegging with Edwina Hart among Unite members. Earlier this year a private opinion poll on the political affiliation of Unite members showed that just 34 per cent favoured Labour and 31 per cent the Conservatives. Now only those who pay the political levy to Labour voted in the Welsh contest, but it adds to the picture of a breaking down of the traditional political role that the Unio