The reshuffle: twist in the tail


Do political anoraks come up with all the best jokes? I'll let you decide that one based on this evidence: "Stephen Crabb number two in the Wales Office? That makes sense. Crabs always make sideways moves."

Mmm. Maybe not quite time for open mic night yet and maybe not entirely accurate either.

Yes, the Preseli Pembrokeshire MP and current assistant whip has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary in the Wales Office - the new deputy working with the new boss, David Jones. "Certainly easier to swallow than yesterday's news" was the response of one Westminster colleague.

But Mr Crabb will also remain in the Whips Office, promoted from assistant to senior whip suggests one Westminster source. More money, possibly, less time though - point out Labour - to deal with the Wales Office workload David Jones himself used to argue was pretty onerous. Keeping abreast of legislative matters might sound tedious but hey, someone's got to do it. That someone is the deputy in Gwydyr House.

Does this mean Mr Jones won't have a proper deputy? A question you'd expect Labour to ask and one you'd expect the Conservatives to dismiss as utter nonsense.

And what about the rumours that the job had gone to Jenny Randerson, formerly Liberal Democrat AM for Cardiff Central, former minister in the Labour Lib Dem coalition in Cardiff Bay, now Baroness Randerson of Roath Park? Were those nonsense too?

They weren't. In the past few minutes, she has.

Mr Jones, it seems, will have two deputies. I gather that while both will be expected to put their shoulder to the wheel, neither will be paid. Both junior positions in the Wales Office will be unpaid - or so I'm told. The drinks then, will be on David Jones come the Christmas Party.

So what now of the Liberal Democrat policy in Cardiff Bay of trying hard not to cross swords with their coalition partner in Westminster, while trying equally hard to make sure their paths don't cross too often either? How can you keep your distance here, while sharing an office, responsiblities and a job title there?

If you can come up with a punchy one liner in answer to that one, that open mic is yours.

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

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  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    #32 the uni fees was simply a political fudge - unsustainable.

    My question was - should we think again, is the current system working.
    Its a political game show not serving the people of Wales. - lets get serious.
    Do we really want list AM's who serve party not people.
    Should NHS Hospital provision only be for Swansea & Cardiff.
    Secondary Education among the worst in Europe.

    Make your own list!

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    Thatcher did not destroy any communities or industries, industries died and communities that were very dependant on the dead and dying industries became unviable.

    When politicians tried to save the unviable industries with nationalisation and subsidies the problems of the 70's through to the 90's, and probably beyond, were created.

    Thatcher was the unfortunate in office when push came to shove.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    Do political anoraks come up with all the best jokes?

    Political anoraks are supposed to understand what's going on - in Wales that should mean they'll find very little is actually funny any more...

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    Because we are discussing Wales I didn't want to change the subject. Why.? Because for most of the time Labour has been in charge in Cardiff Bay and London. Why can't you see it. The industrial areas of England haven't moved forward for the same reasons. Inifectual Governments mainly Labour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    31 and 36 As an absolute fact Wales was measurably better than most parts of the UK before devolution. Look at the education, the NHS et al and you will find that Wales outperformed many areas of England
    Thatcher destroyed industry and communities across the UK not just Wales. Why is it that we have gone so far backwards in 14 years when English regions have moved forward?


Comments 5 of 42



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