Who lives in a house like this?
- 19 July 2012
- From the section Wales politics
Remind you of anything? The Oval Office comes to the old Welsh Office.
I'll start with a declaration of ... I'm not sure of what exactly: technical limitations maybe.
This photograph, that I took a short while ago at the Welsh Government's end of term briefing, is cropped. It's the only way I can post it on this blog but in the interest of full disclosure, you should know that there's a third flag - the European Union flag - just out of shot. Transparency and all of that.
And in the interest of full disclosure on their part, I can tell you that the Welsh government spent £1800 on the podium and the Welsh slate emblem on the wall behind the First Minister? £4500. "We kept costs to a minimum" said Mr Preside ... Carwyn Jones. After all, those learning today of plans to centralise hospital services in North Wales might not be immediately impressed with a brand new centrepiece, Welsh slate or not.
In the foreground, two apprentices, two of the hundred created by the announcement of plans to deliver Next Generation Broadband in Wales. It is BT's job to deliver. The bill is split - the Welsh Government pays £58m; £57m comes as a result of UK Government spend, £90m comes from Europe (there, glad I told you about the missing flag) and BT, the only company who stuck with the race to deliver better broadband for Wales, pays the rest.
"Today is the day Wales moved into the fast lane" said Carwyn Jones.
And is Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, he was asked, about to move into the fast lane of government? If the rebel refuses to be reined in by Plaid, would he be welcomed by Labour? There have been no discussions, he said but:
"We would welcome anybody at any level of government that shares the same values as us."
"He's somebody who, I believe, who holds the interests of Wales at heart, he is somebody who is very much a progressive in terms of his politics. I believe he does think very much in terms of fairness and justice, and opportunity. and he is very much a devolutionist and a proud Welsh person, all of these qualities would fit in very well with Welsh Labour".
Which goes to show that 'yes' can be a very long word.
As for Dafydd Elis-Thomas, he's told journalists that he is the Plaid Cymru member for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, that he's loyal to the people who elected him and that he's not behoven to the Tories who insisted on whipping the vote. Will he be saying as much to the three from among the Plaid group who drew lots and now make up his disciplinary panel, Elin Jones, Simon Thomas and Bethan Jenkins?
Funnily enough, no. He'll be writing to them but he won't be there to see them when they meet on Monday to consider what on earth they should do with the Lord. He will, instead, be 'doing his duty' by meeting ordinary Welsh farmers at the Royal Welsh agricultural show. However, he won't be doing that as the Plaid Cymru rural affairs spokesman, of course.
Draw lots? Must feel more like drawing the short straw. Do they opt to keep him in the fold and take regular direct hits from the former leader or do they force his hand to leave and take direct hits from others for giving Labour a majority on a plate? And does Lord Elis-Thomas plan to fight another election? If not, then just how brave, or disenchanted, does he feel?
From the beach in Tenby, I'll be watching with interest.