EVERYBODY’S a winner in the new arrangements down at Cardiff Bay.
Labour remain in power, Plaid get in government having been given everything but the kitchen sink, and the Tories get to be the official opposition (and leader Nick Bourne (inset) is handed a £40,000 pay rise).
Everybody is happy then – except the Liberal Democrats. Remember them?
The Tories have decided that, as Her Majesty’s official opposition, they want all their offices to be grouped together. The easiest way to do this at the Assembly is for them to take over the Lib Dems’ rooms. And what the official opposition want, they get.
Hence, while most AMs will be sunning themselves in foreign climes next week, the Lib Dems will be shifting their offices.
And poor old Mike German, whose main concern two months ago was what colour to have the seat covers in his ministerial car, will be packing boxes.
Will the humiliation never end?
SPEAKING of holidaying politicians, we turn to grumpy Labour AM for the Rhondda Leighton Andrews and his one-man war against the media (during the election campaign, you’ll recall, he fumed that reports Labour was considering a coalition with Plaid Cymru were “baloney”).
Mr Andrews’ latest moan comes after a BBC journalist e-mailed every AM asking where they were taking their summer holidays for a Good Morning Wales time-filler. This, thought the former PR man, was an absolute liberty – and set about e-mailing every BBC journalist asking where they were heading for their hols.
This they duly did until – alas! – BBC Wales political head honcho Ashok Ahir told them to stop replying.
We could tell you Politics Show presenter Adrian Masters is spending the summer at home in Newport and political editor Betsan Powys is having a week in Criccieth, but – and this is just a hunch – we don’t think you care.
MORE good news for the Tories last week: Nick Bourne was cleared by the Assembly after it received 180 complaints about comments he made about the BNP.
Mr Bourne had described the party as a “nasty, mean, distasteful and grubby bunch of sub-human flotsam and jetsam” – comments which provoked anger from BNP press officer Dr Phil Edwards (who, regular readers of this column will recall, is actually called Stuart Russell and sets up firework displays for a living).
A quick look at the letters section of the BNP’s excellent website quickly clears any notion the party is full of racist nutters. A Johnstone, from Glasgow, for example, has the solution to combating terrorism: expel all Muslims from Britain.
“It’s the only way to be sure, if they won’t give up the fanatics, then they will be forced to give up their undeserved place in Great Britain,” he writes.
Another, complains that he cannot find a white-run petrol station in his area. “Another monopoly?” he asks. “Or a tentacle in our transport system?”
Whatever was Mr Bourne talking about?
LAST week saw the departure of Alun Shurmer, Plaid’s chief spin doctor, to the press office of BBC Wales.
No doubt he’ll treasure the leaving present given to him by colleagues – a framed copy of the election poster calling on the people of Wales to vote Plaid and “Kick Labour into touch”. And didn’t they just?
FINALLY, hats off to the finger-on-the-pulse types at BBC News 24 for their coverage of the Labour-Plaid coalition deal.
On Wednesday the channel brought the Plaid leader’s (below) crowning as Rhodri’s deputy to the whole of Britain, only slightly spoiling it by captioning the images of him with ‘Ieuan Wyn Jones: New Welsh First Minister’. He very nearly was, of course, but let’s not dredge all that up again.