Monday saw the unveiling of the Public Policy Institute for Wales (PPIW) by First Minister Carwyn Jones. Or maybe it was last May. Or was it November 2012? Perhaps it was mentioned in the Act of Incorporation of 1536. Whatever, the PPIW is a group made up mainly of academics, and expected to “give ministers fresh ideas on how to improve Wales’ public services”. These academics will be doing their day jobs in the universities at Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Glamorgan, Liverpool and Swansea, plus the London School of Economics. The academics of Cardiff will run the show, to ensure that Cardiff continues to
rip off the rest of the country enjoy the benefits of its capital status.
I can see the sense in involving the LSE, but Liverpool? Is it to offer advice on the north east? Perhaps to implement the takeover of that corner of the country proposed by the Mersey Dee Alliance, and backed by civil servants and local government chiefs . . . until the plan became public? Has the ‘Welsh’ Government forgotten that there is a university now in Wrecsam? Does it matter, because the academics involved on both sides of the border will, in the main, be English.
As I’ve explained in recent posts, the ‘Welsh ‘ Government is already taking orders from London departments and their civil servants, plus agencies such as the Planning Inspectorate; then there’s the self-serving ‘advice’ from the scroungers of the Third Sector. Talking of which, I note that the Bevan Foundation is also to be involved with PPIW. Which probably explains why a few high-profile Labour politicians recently resigned as Trustees of the Foundation. Can’t have a Labour administration giving work and funding to an organisation too obviously linked to the Labour Party.
What a way to run a country! A collection of weaklings masquerading as a ‘Government’, taking orders from those they claim no longer have authority in Wales, while also seeking ‘advice’ from cronies whose only motivation is milking the public purse. Didn’t we used to have politicians of vision, who would tell civil servants: ‘Here’s my idea, you lot come up with the nuts and bolts to make it work’. Labour in Wales reveres Aneurin Bevan – was the National Health Service the idea of his civil servants, or was it his vision that he made civil servants implement?
This problem of unimaginative, weak, time-serving politicians being manipulated by those who should be serving them is not confined to the ‘Welsh’ Government. We also see it at local government level, as we were reminded today with the release of the Wales Audit Office report into curious payments in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
Though I am not suggesting that Dr. Elizabeth Haywood, Chair of the City Regions Task and Finish Group, is a Labour crony. Yet her Report, completed in 2012, did strike me as totally superfluous, seeing as city regions were already a done deal. Decided by, among others, the Cardiff and County Club, some 20 years ago. Be that as it may, Doctor Haywood fulfilled her alloted role and dutifully confirmed the desperate need for a Cardiff city region (and wondered how Wales had survived this long without it), recommended a Swansea city region in the hope of disguising Cardiff’s takeover of the south east, and she also advised acceptance of the Mersey Dee Alliance plan for the north east – i.e. Clwyd should be swallowed up by Liverchester. So, pray tell, who is this woman given a totally pointless – but publicly funded – job? Who is She who can, with a few taps on her keyboard, recommend the dismemberment of our ancient homeland? Of course! she is none other than Mrs Peter Hain . . . though you wouldn’t know that from any reports in the Welsh media.
Another concern that has me pacing my bedroom all night is the future of the Wales Rural Observatory. I did a post on the WRO on September 17, 2012, on my Google Blogger site; now, sadly, demised by those lovers of free speech (and conscientious payers of tax) at Google. Fortunately, Stuart Evans (WelshnotBritish) had saved my posts, minus comments, in RSS format, which explains why you can still read it. Though the WRO website seems to have been re-written, and is now less open about the fact that the WRO is funded by the ‘Welsh’ Government to come up with original and mind-blowing findings – e.g. rural Wales has an ageing population, it’s handy to have a car if you live in the countryside, etc. Another change I noticed was that the home page now carries a video by the WRO’s Director, Professor Paul Milbourne, reading from a script, and explaining what his organisation does. The video is dated October 22, 2012, just five days after my original post. I do hope it was nothing I said!
So where does the Wales Rural Observatory stand vis-a-vis the new Public Policy Institute for Wales? Will the WRO be allowed to carry on with its ground-breaking research into the more bucolic aspects of Welsh life, leaving the PPIW to focus on urban areas? Or will there be a turf war, two gangs of English academics, both funded by the ‘Welsh’ Government, fighting it out to prove which of them knows the least about our country and cares the less about us? Do we need both? Do we need either one? Should we have to suffer any?
Legislation is being forced on Wales to which this ‘Welsh’ Government is neither mother nor father. It is not even the midwife, or the nanny. It is nothing more than a slow-witted serving girl from the village, left holding the baby in the hope that people will believe it’s hers. And now this ‘serving girl’ is to be handed more ‘babies’. And she will do exactly as she is told . . . then say ‘thank you’, and probably curtsey!
This is not devolution. This is not democracy.
8 thoughts on “A ‘Government’ Bereft of Ideas and Much Else Besides”
Look at this:
“Certainly there’s no better time to do just that with Mark Drakeford’s announcement of the creation of a Co-production Implementation Group…..”
“Finally, earlier this year we took part in the Carnegie Trust’s roundtable discussions on the ‘enabling state’ – along with the brilliant Victoria Winkler of the equally brilliant Bevan Foundation, and the awesome Sue Essex, among others. The resulting publication is out now: ‘The Rise of the Enabling State: A Review of Policy and Evidence across the UK and Ireland’, outlining the findings of this comprehensive review of public policy reform. The Trust argues that a new model of public services, based on a new relationship with citizens and communities, is required. We couldn’t agree more!”
There’s obviously some troughing to be done in ‘Training and consultancy.’
With all that’s wrong with the health service in Wales I would have hoped that Mark Drakeford would have had more important priorities than pandering to these charlatans.
Here’s a piece by Ruth Dineen on Click on Wales and here’s Jeff Jones’ response. https://jacothenorth.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/Jeff-Jones.jpg
If I may be allowed to budge in, after a quick nerdy search it can be summarized that ‘All in this together Wales’ is yet another front for yet another training and consultancy firm masquerading as a company ‘concerned with Welsh issues’ – their sister company ‘Co-production Training UK’ also provides some serious mind altering ‘training’ (indoctrination) all part of the original Common purpose cult of ‘leading outside authority’ or ‘transforming public service delivery’ as they also like to call it. You too can be gently brain washed and transformed by Neuro Linguistic Programming and nudging for only £180 a day, £340 for two days or £480 for three days – bargain.
Any company,charity, campaign organisation or not for profit that babbles on about training, consultancy, sustainability, facilitation and ‘changing and transforming the culture’ need to either be shut down or run out of Wales. These are people with a VERY unpleasant agenda of infiltrating and destroying public and private bodies in Wales. People in Wales need to stop looking up to these psychobabbling idiots-they are imposters and charlatans. They may talk good and look all nice but they aren’t. THIS IS DANGEROUS. THE WELSH HAVE A GREAT BULLSHIT DETECTOR.LET’S START USING IT
when you get the opportunity jac you might also want to cast your watchful eye over the ‘co-production’ crowd currently swarming all over the welsh political scene http://allinthistogetherwales.wordpress.com/who-we-are/
reading their jargon laden psycho babble you could be forgiven for thinking the people’s temple didnt perish with jim jones in the steamy jungles of guyana but has in fact been resurrected in wales – with its ‘disciples’ eager for wales to become the home to some grand new social experiment
Thanks for that, Leigh, I’ll make enquiries about these buggers. How many of these groups are there, all capitalising on Wales’ deprivation to get their sticky mitts on public funding?
I wouldn’t compare that group with the Jones Sect. The Jones Sect believed that the USA government was corrupt (It is) and that the USA system is doomed (Probably).
The Jones Sect was pursued by a government agency to the point where the sect committed mass suicide. See also: Branch Davidian and Ruby Ridge.
imo: AITTW is more like a mix of Star Trek Capitalism and Scientology.
I’m surprised that Carwyn Jones has announced that Professor Stephen Martin has been appointed director of PPI Wales in a BBC press release today. He has been director for some time, and was on the interview panel for its research officer job based in Cardiff back in July last year. No only that, Prof Martin was already in receipt of £111,255 from the Welsh Government for his “Evaluation of the Local Service Board – European Social Fund”, a research project, initiated in 2012 and this is not due to complete until 2016. It is co-sponsored by this outfit http://www.sharedintelligence.net/ . This is a London based institution which has recently been asked to co-sponsor projects such as “Envisioning Future Libraries” and “Raising the standard of artistic work by children” and “London Business Improvement Districts”, all of which are projects sponsored by the Greater London Assembly. Prof Martin is also, by the way, in receipt of Welsh Government cash for his research for the ‘Williams Commission’ on the shake up of local councils in Wales. Strangely, BBC Radio Wales afforded Prof Martin a live interview broadcast on 20th January as “Director of the Public Policy Institute for Wales” a full week prior to their announcement today (your link Jac) that he has been appointed as director. Time travel or grant creaming?
He is a busy boy. Well favoured by the Labour Party. Here’s someone who seems to be on every panel or committee with Martin, http://business.cardiff.ac.uk/contact/staff/downe