Gold dust - and no distracting pens!

 

Silence is golden so if you're going to break it, do it properly.

If you're an Assembly Member and a member of a scrutiny committee at that, then you're paid - partly - to ask the right, proper and the awkward questions when you get the chance. And yes, I know I am too, before you jump in to point avidly at the plank you've spotted in my own eye.

But as you may have read here and here, AMs have been offered a helping hand, a laminated piece of A4 paper spelling out the "Key rules of scrutiny." It's rather enticingly sub-titled, "the gold dust."

Here goes:

Be clear about your objectives

Scrutinise (not criticise)

Be objective

Be concise

Ask one question at a time

Make an impact - eye contact, no distracting pens!

Have confidence in Committee colleagues and work as a team

This is, says the Assembly Commission, a free-of-cost reminder of some very good advice (which wasn't free, as you may remember).

And better that, is the attitude of some of those I've spoken to today, than some AMs sticking religiously to the scripted questions written for them by the rather bright people who make up the Members Research Service.

One AM who saw the laminated A4 in my hand this afternoon takes a different view. "I know we're not perfect" she said "but honestly. I feel like I should be saying thank you miss!"

A big deal? No, of course not. Then again it seems to be quite a day for things that really aren't a big deal.

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

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 22.

    #15 Sorry John, I disagree on all points. Managers in these times are faced with floods of applications. The first thing you do is bin all the CVs that don't comply. Then, still with a big pile, you look for other reasons to reject. And if a qualification is seen to be inferior, out the CV goes. So, the Welsh quali has to be good: which means it can't be a qualification for the weaker souls.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 21.

    There has been a number of comments about Welsh Education Welsh NHS and the evil Welsh Language. Yet over the last few days we have seen the appaulling mistreatment and care of patients in a number of English Hospitals and today we see Mr.Gove do a UTurn on Education. While we in Wales are far from perfect I don't think we should be looking to England and Westminister for guidance.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 20.

    well it is a two way street all relationships are but the problems are one sided they can argue they deal with all the stuff that nobody else will and then it gets all too much and then the other side says yeah but you discriminate against us and then other side says yeah but no the trouble is you can't afford to have a problem that you can't fix yourself soon as you need to ask someone else

  • rate this
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    Comment number 19.

    ... and we continue to elect them comeoffit.

    I remember the words "the sort of promise(s) that only a fool would ask of a madman", these are the promises of manifestoes written on the laminated card.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 18.

    it started on what they are capable of so don't make a production out of it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 17.

    and when will they get the laminated card for first ministers questions? I can just imagine the first bullet point:

    - Try not to use 'ummm' and 'errr' as every other word whilst speaking. Please remeber that, whilst you may have never held a previous job that required you to speak in public (or any job at all in some cases), this is going out on tv so dont make us Welsh look thick!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    start on what they are capable of put your mind to it

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    ... alf, the buck stops with the FM Carwyn Jones.

    My contribution to the debate was small, I don't believe that the Wales qualifications would be an issue as Universities are able to sift the dross, if they want to.

    If I made a contribution it was to suggest the WBQ should be used as the basic qualification for all pupils so that the less able would leave school with a qualification.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 14.

    What are you on about John. Leighton Andrews is the Minister. He stood his ground against the detractors even you I believe. Who would include another Party in that.You even try to get a swipe in when there isn't any reason to have one. Odd. Well done Leighton. 3 up to Wales against Westminster.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    still having a wee bit of trouble with that firend or foe dis-crime-a-nation system are we little way to go before we turn the corner on that.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    ... sorry alf, but it is the Labour party, much maligned, that should receive the credit, when you refer to WAG some people might include the participation in past years of other political parties; In this instance Labour is going it alone, well done Carwyn.

    When you consider the lower echelons' of the Assembly need to be taught presentation skills it beggars belief we put our trust in them !

  • rate this
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    Comment number 11.

    The beauty of the whole system is it doesn't really matter whether you have gcse's or baccalaureates it's what we think that counts so don't be in a subordinate.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    so at least our gcse's are still worth something.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 9.

    It's a power struggle but some question whether it is affordable.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 8.

    So The Welsh Government were right over Westminster again then. GCSEs. 3 up now.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 7.

    wrath worketh not.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 6.

    compared to the black death the horrors of today might be over-egged a bit. Expectations are higher which makes inevitable injuries illness and deaths seem all the worse. How could it happen in this day and age? If they fight and discriminate over the money and access to training, nobody gains anything. The UK is intricate as is every step of stitching up a wound it's make or break to do it right.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    teach whatever you want but the more you harm one another the more society will deteriorate. Imperfection is no excuse for malice it is the result if you aren't willing to do good for the good of it nothing can save you people will continue to suffer and die if you like living in a mortuary or mausoleum carry on regardless, whatever anyone who wants to live don't follow their bad examples.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 4.

    1.dispozest

    I agree close down Westminster and let the adults run Wales. All Welsh MPs return and replace AMs and we can govern ourselves, Nice to agrre

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 3.

    Yep

 

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