Actions ... and words
Is Wales losing out because of the 2012 London Olympics?
Yes, according to Culture Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas at least whose letter to James Purnell, his then-counterpart at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport puts a figure on it: £70 million.
The Culture Minister doesn't pull his punches.
"The increased contribution from the National Lottery announced in March 2007 means that Wales stands to lose in the region of £70 million in Lottery funding between 2009 and 2012 ... Despite assurances about a return of investment from the sale of land after the Games, the impact will continue to be felt for years to come and it will take considerable time for Wales to recover."
He goes on: "All this will have a devastating impact on small community groups throughout Wales and many worthwhile projects will be put at risk. There is a growing perception that Wales is paying an unfair price for an event that will primarily benefit London and South East England."
So far but no further is the message and while that message is undoubtedly the Culture Minister's, I gather the unusually strong wording came from the civil service.
What's the word now? Not aggressive ... No, assertive. Yes, that's it, assertive. Are we seeing civil servants embracing a new spirit of assertiveness?
And it seems someone else is in a pretty assertive mood too, in private at least.
Yesterday the coalition stood firm as Labour and Plaid AMs voted down a Conservative motion calling on the UK Government to honour the pay award recommended by the Police Arbitration Board.
Were the Tories surprised? Not by Labour AMs, no but they might have held out some hope of support from Plaid Cymru AMs. How come? Because a fortnight ago Plaid backbenchers (including whip Chris Franks) supported a written statement of opinion tabled by one of their number, Bethan Jenkins AM.
It's straightforward stuff.
"The National Assembly calls upon the UK Government to honour the pay award recommended by the Police Arbitration Board in full."
So when the Tory motion called on the National Assembly to lobby the UK Government to do just that, what did Plaid do? They voted against it.
Brian Gibbons, the Assembly's Local Government Minister did the same. But I hear that's not all he did. Another assertive letter seems to have made its way down to Westminster, one in which Mr Gibbons lets Home Secretary Jacqui Smith know that while the Assembly government opposed the Tory motion, it hurt.
In fact Mr Gibbons seems to have told the Home Secretary that while the coalition voted against the Tory motion, they in fact agreed with it.
'Collective responsiblity, officer'?