Monday, 21 July 2008

Events, dear boy...

It was Harold Macmillan who allegedly responded with the words "Events, dear boy. Events.", when asked by a journalist what could blow a government off course. In a more modern vernacular, we might say "Stuff happens".

The resignation of the Culture Minister last Friday certainly came as a surprise to most of us. I reveal no secrets by saying that it led to a flurry of telephone calls over the weekend. And I've spent part of today answering questions about the matter on a variety of radio programmes, in English and in Welsh.

It would be wrong, however, to see the resignation as an 'event', in the sense referred to by Macmillan. Continued publicity could have become such an 'event', but it is to the credit of both Rhodri Glyn and Ieuan Wyn that they have recognised this danger and taken immediate steps to avoid it. Rhodri's letter of resignation makes it perfectly clear that he is standing down to avoid further comment and publicity of the sort that has been following him in recent weeks, and which he felt was inevitably going to continue.

Everyone in Plaid is determined to make "One Wales" a success, and we are simply not going to let 'side-stories' undermine that, or divert attention from the job in hand. That, ultimately, is what led to the resignation.

I was fascinated to see the suggestion by Glyn Davies about how the party's press department are working overtime to blacken the character of the ex-Minister. This is simply not a picture of Plaid's press operation which I recognise – the Party most emphatically does not employ staff to brief against our own elected members. I haven't authorised, and would not permit, such use of party staff time.

Sorry, Glyn, but sometimes, there really isn't a conspiracy to be found.

1 comment:

alanindyfed said...

I too was surprised that Glyn Davies, whose views are not normally irrational and who generally displays a fair amount of common sense and reasonableness,
should suggest that Plaid would blacken the character of one of their number. This cannot be.
The people who make up the Party of Wales are not of this ilk.
They are honest, cheerful, unassuming and kind, but are not given to tolerating behaviour which falls beneath the acceptable
face of Welsh politics, or reflects badly on the party.