Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Bournewatch (4)

Translation of "Bournewatch (4)" by Vaughan Roderick

I have flu and so Bournewatch is happening from afar today.

Fortunately Betsan's keeping an eye on things. Glyn Davies, Peter Black and Bethan Jenkins have also made valuable contributions.

One of Bethan's points is especially appropriate.

"I used my discretion, and more or less thought 'What would the public be happy with AMs claiming, within reason?'"

Exactly. As Glyn points out, how on earth did Nick Bourne and Brian Gibbons, both of whom earn £90,000 a year, believe it was OK to claim five pounds for light bulbs (Nick) or £16 for a bouquet of Remembrance Sunday flowers (Brian)?

To be fair to our politicians there's one thing worth bearing in mind here. All these details were released as a result of freedom of information claims launched by the BBC and the Western Mail. Because of that some of them date back to 2006/2007. So referring to the current economic climate whilst judging our Assembly Members is unfair. Maybe there is more justification (a little) for claiming an iPod two years ago than there is now.

This brings us back to Nick Bourne and another pertinent point, this time raised by Peter Black:

"There is no doubt that the Tories seem to have come off worse from this latest publication of expenses. This is partly because they have made some unusual claims but also because of the dissatisfaction within the Conservative Group about Nick Bourne's leadership and the fact that some are using his expenses as a stick to beat him with."

All true. What must be remembered is that Nick knows, or at least thinks he knows, those on the front bench and within his party who are plotting against him. His failure to take disciplinary steps against them proves how precarious his position is. Will anything take place before Christmas? I would say 60:40 against.

Translation by Dewi Dau



Anonymous said...

"Could the main media get their priorities right - Dyson's and ipods fade into insignificance when you see whats happening in the economy. Do you think it may be of more interest to challenge the Government on that - are there any serious journalists left out there ?????"

From VM's blog.

Are there Vaughan/Betsan?

Anonymous said...

yawnnnnnnnnnnn this is adead story let it pass in peace

Standing up for Nick Bourne said...

It is shocking that Don Touig can be making money hand over fist from public moeny on his houses, Peter Hain is staffing £100,000s without declaring it and Lynn Neagle and Huw Lewis are getting away with double mortgage payments for a house just outside cardiff and yet the Western Mail want Nick Bourne sacked because he claimed for an I-pod!

Jonathan Morgan's backstabbing has only hurt the party and its credibility!

Politics Cymru said...

I think the point with this story is that our journalists' audiences will respond to it. Headlines referring to iPodgate etc will sell papers. It must also be said that this is a good story - one that the London media would love to have come out of Westminster. It's also ours. It happened in our Assembly and one of our AMs was responsible. So is it surprising that Welsh journalists and media outlets are pushing it as hard as possible? After all they need something to talk about over the Christmas recess: maybe a resignation by the leader of the Opposition would be sufficient.

Dewi Dau

Anonymous said...

No Politics Cymru.....you are now attempting to defend your own...ie Welsh Journalists.....if you can all them journalists that is. This is community paper stuff which you lot are attmepting to portray as being of national importance. No, I personally won't be dictated to by you or Roderick or Powys and allow you to say what's important. Incidentally, a few more hunderd jobs gone in Wales yesterday. Tata, Indian co to possibly receive a bailout at UK taxpayers expens....a few more million for the banks is being talked about.....and the pound is basically collapsing v the Euro.....and it's all because of what the Banks and politicians were allowed to get away with....basing an economy on debt and House Price Inflation....and YOU....the journalists including Vaughan Roderick and Betsan Powys did nothing to question it......in fact, I heard Roderick at leat saying how strong the economy was just a few months ago.....How much do these people get paid?

Anonymous said...

Error above....billion not million for the banks.

Yes, I am angry

Politics Cymru said...


I'm not trying to defend anybody, I'm just explaining why it is that this particular story is enjoying so much coverage. People are interested by it, and interested people buy newspapers and read blog posts. I'm not saying that journalists are right to give it so much attention I'm just outlining why this might be the case.

I would also argue that this is a story of national interest as there is the potential for it to undermine our young National Assembly. The man at the centre of it all is also the leader of the opposition: a huge role in any democracy.

Anonymous said...

"I would also argue that this is a story of national interest as there is the potential for it to undermine our young National Assembly."

You are correct. But what is likely to undermine our young Assembly is the amount of coverage Welsh journalists are giving this story. How much coverage did they give to Touhig's windfall on his property in London. Nothing. Idiots that our politicians in Wales are.....they are not any more so than the idiots at Westminster. If you listened to some of the Radio Wales phone ins, you'd would have heard caller after caller call for the Assembly to be srapped. I telephoned in and pointed out that by using their reasoning then the Westminster Parliament should be scrapped too.....my point of view wasn't aired.....just mainly the netagive get rid of the Assembly ones.

Anonymous said...

"THE government is lining up a multi-billion pound bail-out for Jaguar so it can keep making absurdly expensive cars that do 12 yards to the gallon."

Now there's a story to get your teeth into....but no.....there are more important issues such as i-pods to be sorted out.