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Brotherhood of man

Betsan Powys | 22:46 UK time, Thursday, 9 July 2009

I was standing on the Llangollen International Eisteddfod field with my four year old, trying to join a huge, if a bit disjointed circle of festival goers, holding hands in the name of brotherhood and international understanding, when my mobile phone rang.

It turned out that anything but brotherhood and understanding had broken out at the Finance Committee meeting in Cardiff Bay. Perhaps it should be renamed the Feisty Committee.

Chair Angela Burns had been told that the Deputy First Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, would after all release to the committee the Ministerial Advice he's been given on the Heads of the Valley road, the advice they've been putting pressure on him to disclose for some time now. That's the good news. The bad news is he won't be handing it over until the end of term.

That means the committee won't have a chance to discuss it unless they meet during recess. That, said the Chair, was exactly what she'd ask them to do unless the paperwork turned up earlier, upping the ante and the pressure on the DFM.

While the cameras were turned on, things were heated enough. When they'd been switched off the accusations really started to fly. Plaid members accused others of targetting Mr Jones in order to undermine the coalition - in other words being considerably less bothered by the future of the Heads of the Valleys road than knocking the coalition off course. In return one member reportedly shouted back in less than brotherly fashion that "it's not this committee that's undermining the government it's your ... Minister".

Meanwhile it's been announced that Paul Starling, a man who knows a thing or two about making his voice heard and his feelings known - formerly of the Welsh Mirror - will be standing for People's Voice in Torfaen at the General Election. It's unlikely the incumbent, the other Paul - formerly of the Wales Office - will be tempted to raise his own voice in response. That's not his style after all. Unlikely, though, that brotherly love will be the theme of the battle in Torfaen.

And sticking to the subject of peace, understanding and brotherly love, just a thought .What happens if David Cameron decides that his Director of Communications Andy Coulson - formerly of the News of the World - is somehow tainted by the allegations surrounding the paper and should no longer remain in the job? Any number of ifs and buts there I grant you but ... just wondering whether a certain Welsh speaking press adviser is polishing up his CV?

Back to the Eisteddfod tomorrow but this time, to sing with the choir. In other words it's competition day. Just as well I did my bit for brotherly love and international understanding today then.


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