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Tick Cross Tick

Betsan Powys | 11:52 UK time, Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Theyr'e back - no, not the AMs but the wind-surfing, engine-building, bike-riding, length-swimming, mountain-conquering, grinning montage of Welsh citizens trotted out every time the coalition government wants to sell us something that says 'One Wales Government working for you'.

Their faces appear on glossy back-drops and on the cover of any number of documents stacked up on my neat, post-Easter desk.

So what are they smiling about this morning? Well this. The One Wales delivery plan is a list of 228 pledges made by the coalition government along with a pretty detailed timetable for delivery.

There's a helpful key too:

PW: Preparatory work
I: Implementation
C: Completed

and then there's the very useful

AD: Activity dependent on outcome of initial stage.

Top of the list, pledge number 1 is the establishing of an All-Wales convention on further powers for the Assembly.
Easy. PW in year one, I in the second, C by the third. Sir Emyr will be pleased. Fortunately "proceeding to a successful outcome of a referendum for full law-making powers" doesn't seem to count as a specific pledge. PW followed by wall to wall ADs wouldn't look quite so good after all.

If you really voted for Plaid because your kids wanted a lap-top then you probably deserve to check out pledge 116. Supporters of a Welsh language newspaper? Hone in on pledge 193. Reducing waiting times to 26 weeks from referral to treatment? That's number 30. Take your pick. That's what holding the government to account is about after all and this check-list - a 'living document' that will change to reflect failures as well as successes we're told - is an open invitation to do just that.

Then again one man's invitation to scrutinise is another's glossy propaganda. Opposition leader Nick Bourne has it down as "an expensive exercise in taxpayer-funded self-justification".

I wondered aloud whether it didn't have just a bit to do with one half of the coalition holding the other half to account, a check-list that'll come in increasingly handy as 2011 looms and the red-green coalition prepares to disengage? Nonsense, says Rhodri Morgan. "This is a two party coalition but it is one administration". I didn't hear the DFM answer that particular question.

By the way this morning's lobby yielded the latest definition of pledge number one, the All-Wales Convention, from the First Minister.

It's an ADM: an "appetite detection machinery".

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 05:27 PM on 08 Apr 2008,
  • Eluned wrote:

Talk about plenty of rope - if I were them I'd hang myself now and save three years of anticipation!

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