“OMFG!!!” was the reaction of one of the Positif team in our overused WhatsApp group. It spoke to us all who were watching and, two hours later when everyone at Positif had finally watched the clip, that was the collective view. Ever the political historian, I couldn’t help think back to when Peter Rogers had said “Bollocks, First Minister” and Rhodri Morgan had replied from the lectern “It’s not bollocks.” Or the time that Glyn Davies had meant to say “twin track” and it had come out as “twin twat.” What both those occasions have in common is that they have ended up in the Record of Proceedings. F-gate wasn’t given the same inclusion. The rather priggish powers that be deemed the biggest cut through story in Wales since the goats of Llandudno had never happened even though it made news as far away as Australia without any assistance from the army of elite comms supremos the Assembly employs.
But what was the political significance of the dropping of the F-bomb? Not enough to cost the Health Minister his job certainly. Plaid and the Conservatives may have jumped up and down in short term fury but maybe their call for dismissal was a little too rich for the blood, especially during the current crisis. Maybe a censure motion would not only have been more appropriate and proportionate but also more achievable. The real outcome is probably a little further denting of Vaughan Gething’s reputation; and the further enhancement of Jenny Rathbone’s. By seeking to make no political capital of the situation, she has once again shown herself to be without malice and simply committed to asking awkward questions of ministers, whoever they may be. If Welsh Politician of the Year hadn’t discredited itself into obscurity, she would undoubtedly be a serious contender for Backbencher of the Year.