I’ve changed my mind – the Assembly needs more members

I’ve changed my mind. Independently, without coercion, and without a single Damascene moment, I have come to realise I have become wrong. By that, I do not mean I was wrong in the past, but rather it would be wrong to continue to believe something now which is demonstrated as palpably untrue. I have accepted the case for the increase of the number of members of the National Assembly for Wales. Ok, that may be a so what moment outside the bubble, but at least within it I’ve been known as one of the most trenchant and vocal opponents of expanding the number of AMs. Put simply, my opposition has… Read More

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Changing of the guard

Five factors seem to be at work in understanding today’s Cabinet reshuffle. The painfully slow process – and perhaps particularly personally painful for some – played out at such a pace that for once the Welsh Government offices in Cathays Park would have been full on a Friday afternoon. Yet there seems to be a series of specific motivations behind the moves. The most obvious is the change of generations. Out after eighteen years goes Jane Hutt, the longest serving Labour minister in UK history. Her record is mighty and proud. She may well appear like a ghost in the back of the new team photo, such is the length… Read More

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Following the leader?

Party conferences can be a place of contemplation and self-reflection and after a stream of elections and with no other imminent elections or referenda (for the moment) on the political horizon, Plaid Cymru couldn’t avoid the usual election post-mortem at their Annual Conference in Caernarfon last weekend. Their performance earlier this year was the central discussion point. However, even out of election-mode the Plaid Cymru spin machine continues on its steady cycle with prominent party members hailing the General Election a great success as they returned their highest number of MPs yet and gained more councillors in local elections. And, given the two-party focus of the election, the gain of… Read More

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Rhodri Morgan: Intelligence, Integrity, Internationalism

Rhodri Morgan was the First Minister that Wales deserved. A dazzlingly clever man, whose memory and capacity for detail was remarkable, he embodied so many core characteristics of his nation. From his passion for and knowledge of sport to his reverence for academia to his cultural confidence and sensitivity, Rhodri was a unique fusion. He also possessed the qualities of kindness and genuine compassion which so many people have illustrated with anecdotes since his passing. But there are some facets of his outlook and political positioning that have barely been discussed. One was his tremendous accomplishments as a shadow spokesperson for Labour in Westminster during the 1990s. Much has been… Read More

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