Thursday, 22 July 2010

Gillan Cracks

Keir cares not for the means, so long as the ends are achieved. With that in mind, there is some slight relief to be felt after Cheryl Gillan's recent admission that Wales will be disproportionately hit by the Conservative governments fetish for public sector cuts. Not relief at the fact that Wales will be hardest hit, of course; just relief that she's admitting it.

As you should know, ahem, Keir was banging on about this months ago. Indeed, it was the whole reason for the open letter that Keir sent to Mrs. Gillan and all Welsh officials earlier this year. Maybe Huw Irranca-Davies' persistence and his whole-hearted championing of the issue has helped to make her realise she has a responsibility to serve the people of Wales.

Either way, at least it's got through.

However, it still comes back to the Cabinet Committee problem. In her statement, the Secretary of State says,

"...therefore in budget discussions we are looking at the impact on the Welsh budget".

Well, where better to discuss this than the Economic Affairs Cabinet Committee? But, of course, this is one of the Committees that Mrs. Gillan doesn't have membership on; it's the one that irked Keir the most. This was precisely why it was so important that she sits on that Committee. Precisely the reason Keir took time out of his otherwise busy day to write a polite letter; precisely the reason Huw Irranca-Davies took his question to the House. If she had realised this prior to Huw asking his question, maybe she wouldn't have snapped back like a Buckinghamshire terrier and would have, instead, given a reasoned answer.

At least this gives fellow Welsh MPs more scope to put pressure on Mrs. Gillan to ensure she gives Wales a voice in this new government. The fight can go on.


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