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Adrian Masters’ blog

This tag is associated with 75 posts

Controversies, coalitions, Calman-style and Kirsty Williams speech

In her speech to the Liberal Democrat conference here in Birmingham, the main aim of Welsh party leader Kirsty Williams was to remind members that they should ‘get up off their knees’ and defend decisions by Lib Dem ministers taken in coalition government. But a good portion of her speech was also devoted to making … Continue reading

Andrew RT Davies: New Welsh Conservative leader

Politicians often complain about being caricatured, but those caricatures usually contain at least a germ of truth. That’s certainly been the case in the Welsh Conservative leadership campaign where the eventual winner, Andrew RT Davies, was portrayed as a right-wing traditionalist, sceptical about further devolution who had the support of the party’s core vote but … Continue reading

Question mark over 1000 HMRC jobs in Wales

I’ve been passed a leaked document which contains some very worrying news for around a thousand people working in tax and customs offices across Wales. The document confirms that the Department’s work will be focussed on SIXTEEN key locations across the UK which are guaranteed to remain open until 2020. Only the Ty Glas office … Continue reading

St Athan: an insider’s view of what went wrong

‘Endemic failures’; a ‘hierarchy’ which ‘doesn’t easily allow a mechanism of change’; ‘programmes that are lasting decades.’ Strong words of criticism directed at the Ministry of Defence by someone who was closely involved in the cancelled plan to build a £14bn training academy at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan. But why does someone … Continue reading

Politics in Wales: Calman-style II

Now that the Welsh election and the powers referendum are behind us, thoughts are turning to what change is next for Wales. Top of the list (for some) will be the much-anticipated ‘Calman-style process.’ Much-anticipated, that is, by  UK Government ministers , Conservatives and Liberal Democrat AMs but not much-anticipated by those in Labour and … Continue reading

Plaid Cymru: leadership… and Labour

Plaid Cymru has today set out some of what it wants from Carwyn Jones if he wants the party’s support in avoiding stalemate in the Assembly. AMs Elin Jones and Simon Thomas said Plaid wants the First Minister to publish a programme of government for the entire five-year term; an early indication of his likely … Continue reading

It takes two – Welsh Conservative leadership latest

‘No deals,’ Andrew RT Davies insisted when I asked him. ‘I don’t believe in deals.’ And when I put the same question to Darren Millar he used almost identical language, saying ‘There have been no deals with Andrew RT Davies about jobs or anything like that in the future.’ The deal or no deal question … Continue reading

Election 2011 – Where now?

By Adrian Masters The dust is beginning to settle, the politicians are rested and refreshed and this is the week in which decisions will be taken which will have long-term consequences for Welsh politics. I expect to see some movement by the end of Monday from Carwyn Jones about how he intends to deal the … Continue reading

The role of the civil service

Uncertainty is the only certainty on this last day of election campaigning before voting gets under way tomorrow morning. That uncertainty may be interesting for people like me and nerve-wracking for politicians, but it’s the civil service for whom it causes a real problem. They have to be ready to swing into action to deliver … Continue reading

Coalition Conundrum

I’m raising the C-word on this evening’s Wales Tonight. After all we’re grown-ups. Politicians from the four main parties don’t like you to use the c-word – of course I mean coalition – during an election campaign. I can understand why: none of them know exactly how the maths will work out on May the … Continue reading

Sir John Cadogan criticises parties over university funding gap

By Adrian Masters As political interventions go, this is one of the most intellectual: one of the UK’s leading scientists, backed by 60 other senior academics criticising all four political parties. What worries  Sir John Cadogan is that he says none of the parties in this election campaign is addressing concerns about the funding gap … Continue reading

Welsh Conservative manifesto launch

The Welsh Conservatives have launched their manifesto today, meaning that all four of the main parties in this election have now laid out their promises for us. You can read the manifesto in full here. It’s the smallest of all four manifestos, coming in at just 32 pages but as small books go it has to … Continue reading

Welsh Labour Manifesto

Three down. Today it was Welsh Labour’s turn to publish its manifesto.  Called ‘Standing Up for Wales’ you can read the full manifesto here. It’s a big document – coming in at 109 pages compared with Plaid’s 53 and the Liberal Democrats’ 66. And Labour, particularly the manifesto’s author Andrew Davies, reckon that in this case … Continue reading

Welsh Liberal Democrat manifesto

Day Two of manifesto week sees the Welsh Liberal Democrats set out their election promises. You can read the manifesto, which they’ve called ‘Wales Can Do Better’,  here. It’s main theme is tackling waste: money-wasting, time-wasting and wasting of the potential of people. That’s why the very first pledge you read is to “Root out … Continue reading

The Passenger

From partner to passenger. That’s what Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones became in the words of Welsh Labour spokespeople today. Mr Jones has been Economic Development minister as well as Deputy First Minister for the last four years of coalition government in Cardiff Bay. And when asked to list his achievements, he frequently points to the … Continue reading

Here come the police

Would-be Assembly members are about to get their collars felt as the police make their grievances abundantly clear later in an effort to put them top of the agenda. And look at the language they’re using: officers feel ‘disgusted and completely demoralised.’ Strong words from a group of people who aren’t allowed to strike. But … Continue reading

Plaid Cymru Launch Manifesto

There’ll be a manifesto a day this week and Plaid Cymru is the first party to unveil its pledges.  I’m not going to summarise it – you can read the full manifesto here. I’m halfway through it; we can compare notes when we’ve both finished. Just a few side notes to report. Every time Plaid … Continue reading

Counting Row

It looks like stalemate in the Welsh election overnight counting row with returning officers in the North unlikely to back down despite public pressure from politicians and the Presiding Officer. It’s up to individual returning officers to decide whether or not to count overnight on May 5th or the following day.  Most have opted for through-the-night counting apart … Continue reading

The Big Surprise

Over at Wales Home, Daran Hill has a typically thoughtful look at the Welsh election and in particular the prospects of Labour winning a majority. Well worth a read in its entirety of course, but one thing that stands out is what Daran calls ‘the cheeky win’ – the surprise victories/defeats/holds (delete as applicable) which change … Continue reading

Election I

The stakes are high in this election for all four of the main political parties.  To recap: For Labour, the prospect of governing Wales alone – tantalisingly within its grasp but with so many circumstances which could rob it of that cherished prize at the last minute. For Plaid Cymru, the answer to the question … Continue reading

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