Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The year that was...

And so, as 2008 draws to an end, it's time to look back at some of this year's memorable moments from Cardiff Bay.

It was a year of gaffes for our respected politicians. Rhodri Glyn Thomas came a cropper on two separate occasions with the first matching anything Ricky Gervais could have written at his cringing best. The second was a slight error of judgment: walking into a bar with a great big cigar in his hand isn't the wisest thing for an Assembly Minister to do and it cost him his job. Given this you might expect our friend, Mr Thomas to walk the 2008 "Clown Prince of Wales" contest.

But no. As I said, 2008 was a year of gaffes in the Bay. The aforementioned title quite bizarrely went to our First Minister, the Right Honourable Rhodri Morgan. Why? Well because apparently he has ridiculous hair and wears even more ridiculous clothes. Says who?

Step forward Nick Bourne, who couldn't really remember what he had and hadn't said. Had he called our First Minister a clown? He couldn't recall doing so. But then all that talk of mutiny and unrest somehow jogged his mind, and suddenly he could remember signing that most dodgy of dossiers all too clearly.

Incredible what murmurs of rebellion and in-fighting can do isn't it! And poor Nick had plenty to deal with as the festive season began and carols were uploaded onto iPods, including his own - bought of course at the tax-payer's expense to help the Leader of the Opposition learn Welsh. Let's just hope he was listening to I orwedd mewn preseb rather than Away in a Manger.

Meanwhile in the Lib Dems' Christmas Party, Kirsty Williams celebrated her rise to the top of the Lib Dem tree, becoming the first ever female leader of a Welsh political party. And over at Plaid Cymru's bash, Bethan Jenkins was still hoping Santa would give her a 'Yes campaign'.

Elsewhere during 2008, Eluned Morgan told us she will step down as MEP in June 2009, (to take over from Rhodri Morgan?), Mike German made way as leader of the Lib Dems in Wales (to become Presiding Officer?) and Alun Cairns insulted some Italians, then got the boot and then returned.

Also this year the great and the good of Welsh politics fell out over the LCO system, David Davies helped to launch True Wales and Sir Emyr Jones-Parry began taking his All Wales Convention caravan around the country. Peter Hain resigned to clear his name (and eventually succeeded), there was uproar when this portrait of the Iron Lady appeared in the Senedd and ITV Wales' coverage of Welsh politics took a hit [links to Vaughan Roderick's Welsh language blog] - leaving the BBC pretty much as our sole broadcasters in the Assembly.

Oh, and there was also quite a bit of talk of a recession.

Here's to more fun and games (and another Grand Slam) in 2009!

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Dewi Dau

P.S. What have we left out? How would you sum up Welsh politics in 2008? Let us know.


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