Discussion about the Welsh Assembly

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Leighton Andrews: my part in Hitler's downfall

Labour AM Leighton Andrews would like it to be known that he has not called for a ban on the display of swastikas. To be clear:

I have supported a call for a review of the public display of the swastika, as suggested by my colleague Alun Pugh AM. This has been inaccurately reported by one blogger as a call for a ban. In my view, a review would entail some examination of the context of where and how it might be appropriate for the swastika to be used.
We hope that's clear, everyone.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Hitler, Alan Pugh's part in his downfall

Alan Pugh,the Assembly Culture Minister, has written to the Home Office, asking for a review of the law about wearing and displaying Nazi regalia.

There is another unpleasant mass murderer in the 20th Century for Alan Pugh to consider:

It is generally agreed by historians that if famines, prison and labour camp mortality, and state terrorism (deportations and political purges) are taken into account, Stalin and his colleagues were directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of millions...most estimates put the figure between 8 and 20 million

[source: Wikipedia on Stalin]

So no doubt Alan Pugh will be asking the Home Office to consider reviewing the law about CCCP t-shirts, little USSR star lapel badges and the like.

But no, hang on, there's no bandwagon to jump on and no easy headlines in that one.

Yes, Alan, we didn't like to see Harry in the uniform. No Alan, the immediate response isn't to change the law 64 years after the event.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Brian Gibbons and the NHS in Wales

The auditor general for Wales produced a damning report on the management of the NHS by the Welsh Assembly. The new Health Minister, just interviewed on the TV said:

the aim is to move into a new phase where we enhance the patient experience
Looks like he's following the example of his unloved predecessor Jane Hutt, if only in his bizarre speech patterns.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Intriguing suggestion

Culturenet Cymru still won't reveal the 100 Welsh Heroes database so there's an intriguing sugestion that statistical analysis of the published figures may demonstrate that the poll results were interfered with in the manner suggested by Culturenet Cymru's ex-IT Manager.

NHS Safe?

Jane Hutt has been health minister since the Assembly was founded.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Kinnock against more assembly power

Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock has said he would campaign against extra powers for the Welsh assembly if there is another referendum on devolution

Put an end to this

It seems that the Chair of Culturenet Cymru has now confused Simon Thomas, MP about the program (or, 'programme', as Mr Green calls it) that was written by the ex-IT Manager to fiddle the 100 Welsh Heroes votes.

Mr Green told Simon Thomas that a program did indeed exist but was for the purpose of entering postal votes. But in reality, the program dealt with percentage adjustments and could not be used in the way claimed by Mr Green.

When will Mr Green properly investigate the misuse of funds by Culturenet Cymru? We're told that he should talk to Culturenet's Acting Director, the Marketing Manager, and the 'Data/Web' Officer.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Not Culturenet Again

Sorry to harp on after our brief break about that tiresome error, Culturenet Cymru, but it seems that Peter Black has been getting somewhere with the clownish Alan Pugh. Only, where he's getting is confusing.

Alan Pugh's response to Peter Black is too delicate to bear much scrutiny so this will be quick.

The Chair set out clearly the nature of the legal advice received. Culturenet Cymru received legal advice that articles in the press could be regarded as defamatory, but that Culturenet Cymru’s resources, which are derived from public funds, should not be spent on legal action unless there was no choice

Now, the advice about resource usage is not legal advice. And it wasn't articles in the press that someone at Culturenet had said were defamatory but the remarks made by the ICT Manager.

We're happy to repeat the true statement that the 100 Welsh Heroes poll was fixed, it was fixed from the beginning, it was fixed every week, it was fixed to encourage future funding of Culturenet by appearing to be a worthwhile project, and that many of the staff at Culturenet Cymru knew this was the case.

We're also happy to report that either the investigation by 'the Chair' (Andrew Green) has been completely ineffective or someone's telling porkies. Or both.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The National Library and the Welsh Assembly

The Welsh Assembly is proposing to take direct control of the National Library Given the record of the Assembly we wonder if this is a good idea. Then we recall the record of the Libary and its managers and decide on balance it's probably a good idea.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Assembly Online is alive!

We thought that the Assembly Online website had died but we noticed a new media briefing, dated the 28th September, has suddenly appeared. Can this really mean that there were no media briefings from the Welsh Assembly from the 13th July to the end of September? Ok, a new session has only just started and the AMs have been away but surely the work of the Assembly doesn't grind to a complete halt for over two months?