I'm the Hen Ferchetan. This is my take on the world through the eyes of Wales. While mostly about Welsh politics (that most famous of dour topics!) I try to scatter some humour around, but I doubt anyone but me will find it funny! Have a read, and if it bores you then feel free to never come back!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Secretaries, Lords, Pigs and Corridors

Having ignored the blog for a couple of days (hey, even a Hen Ferchetan has a life you know!) let's do a quick roundup of what I've missed.

Paul Murphy

The new Welsh Secretary - lots of people are a little uncomfortable with Murphy's (re)appointment. He is known to be a devo-sceptic and was very much against the One Wales government. A lot of people down Cardiff way have told us of their worries that Murphy will try and stick an oar into extra powers for the Assembly, both by blocking LCO's and by meddling with preparations for a referendum. I disagree.

While Murphy may well be less of a supporter of devolution than Mr Permatan was, he is a man who will do his job with the least amount of confrontation possible. While Hain jumped at the chance to try and rule the Assembly, I don't see Murphy sticking his oar in too often. People forget that he was the Welsh Secretary when the Assembly came to life in 1999, there was no indication then that he was trying his best to hamper things.

The anti-devolution Labour MP's will be a little weaker with Murphy at the helm. Hain pretty much always followed the Labour MP's will, but he tried to colour things differently. He denied that the GoW2006 was pandering to them when it blatantly was. He denied that the ban on sitting in seats and on list was a sop to them when it blatantly was. We also seem to have all forgotten that Peter Hain was very much not a fan of the One Wales government. Remember his firm assurance before the election that Labour would never go into government with Plaid?

While I won't say I'm delighted with the appointment of Murphy, I can't say I'm devastated either. He'll do his job and he won't try to be the Governor General of Wales.

Plaid's Lords

So Wigley got the top spot on the wannabe Plaid Lords list. I'd like it on record that I beat CNN, FOX and all other news agencies in calling that result! Joining him on the list is Eurfyl ap Gwilym - again I have no surprise - and ex-AM Janet Davies. I don't know enough about the women of Plaid to say whether Davies was the expected result or the right result, but I think they got the men spot on.

It's up to number 10 to decide whether these three become Lords of course, but I suspect they will pretty soon. What's important, both for Plaid and for Wales, is that everyone sent to London as Lords take up their positions pretty much full time. Wales needs people actively speaking for us in the Lords, we don't want anyone wasting a seat there by rarely showing up.

Pig Builders

Now I'm not one to jump on the anti PC brigade, in fact I despise nothing more than the words "PC Gone Mad", but one story this weekend tickled me quite a bit. The "government banned three little pigs for offense to Muslim" story barely had me batting an eyelid. What did make me smile was the awards panel's other criticism of the reworked version of the story (called "Three Little Cowboy Builders). According to the awards panel comparing Builders to pigs was offensive to the workmen. I bet the pigs wouldn't be too happy with the comparison either!

Welsh Facts

icWales gives us a list of the weird and wonderful facts of Wales. My personal favorites is the longest corridor in Europe in Llandough Hospital, Cardiff and that New Zealand is one of the few countries in the World where "everyone knows of Wales.".

Call my cynical but has someone really asked EVERY person in New Zealand? And who was the poor sod who got the job of measuring every corridor in Europe!

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