Borrowing, budgets and badgers


They've done it again.

On the day one 'b' - next year's budget - is signed, sealed and delivered thanks to the deal between Labour and Plaid Cymru and the Welsh government reveals a plan to - another 'b' - borrow to pay for infrastructure projects they could otherwise not afford, it's yet another 'b' that dominates First Minister's Questions. Badgers.

I missed it. I'm tempted to utter another word beginning with 'b' - broadcasting, that is.

Because in the chamber, Carwyn Jones came under pressure for giving his personal go-ahead to an attempt to prevent the broadcast of a repeat episode of soap opera Pobol y Cwm last week.

I won't go into the detail - you'll find it here - but it's about a whole host of 'b' words. It's about badgers, an accusation from a fictional farmer that the government doesn't have the "backbone" to cull them and a real-life complaint to the BBC and the watchdog, Ofcom.

In the chamber Mr Jones stuck to his guns. All three opposition parties stuck the boot in. He was accused by Kirsty Williams of making Lord Leveson's point for him, of trying to "protect your government by censoring a public service broadcaster" on the very day the report into press standards was published. Plaid's Simon Thomas wondered if Mr Jones had seen the programme before complaining. He had - and the script.

Mr Jones was not for turning. No other soap opera "ever in history" had included such direct criticism of the government, he said. There had been no right of reply. That was wrong. Cries of "The Archers" went up around the chamber. Andrew RT Davies wondered whether the FM might have his sights on Gavin and Stacey next for suggesting the M4 is less than perfect.

I'm told those on the Labour benches didn't seem that keen to join in.

While we all await the outcome of those official complaints, listen to my colleague Vaughan Roderick's take on the debate - and join in.

Betsan Powys Article written by Betsan Powys Betsan Powys Former political editor, Wales

A big day for health in Wales

A day of big health stories in Wales is capped with a potentially very significant announcement.

Read full article


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 28.


    Always keep up with things! Being abusive shows a bad character Decentjohn. I was making the point that Cameron like many politicians either side of the border are to large extent influenced and in the pockets of tycoons but you needed to resort to a cheap jibes as usual

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    15 + 24 Mab you hurl insults around about "inbreds and blood thirsty anti devos". Rather than apologise when I pointed out that the topic was mainly about C J's attempts to censor the Welsh media, you immediately resort to more insults. I am not sure you will understand but I am against censorship/badger culls and against those who resort to insults.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    I'm reminded of DJ Mike Read's defence of his definition of 'plonker', it's a piano as far as he was concerned. Making such a trenchant stand made him one instead. And now some-one, being rather grand, is making a grand piano of himself.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    In the age of devolution Pobol Y Cwm must, from time to time at least, reflect the political realities of Wales, otherwise it's not representative of contemporary Welsh life. Worst still, it would strongly suggest that Welsh Government policy is completely irrelevant, regardless of individual preference. I'm therefore baffled that the First Minister has reacted so strongly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    19: I take the the topic was also about Carwyn Jones possible legal threat to the TV show producers of pobl y cwm regarding a plot criticising the WG actions over the badger cull in which I was responding to another poster who said it was necessary whilst rebuffing their argument. My post was valid and my observation of your sort was in fact wrong.You're worse! So apologies to the forementioned S.


Comments 5 of 28



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.