Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.In the life of everybody, but especially a politician, perception is everything. Whatever the actual truth of an issue events might lead people to think in one direction. And it’s up to the politician to make sure that it’s a perception to his/her advantage.
Carwyn Jones may no longer be First Minister of Wales but he’s still an Assembly Member for Bridgend and a prominent Welsh Labour politician. Yesterday (Tuesday) was not a good day for him.
The High Court announced that it was illegal for Carwyn Jones to have made decisions on the inquiry on Carl Sargeant. The Assembly Member committed suicide in November 1987 following his sacking by Mr Jones which in itself followed allegations of sexual harassment. The inquiry was to judge the former First Minister’s handling of the incident.
Now I stress as I’ve done in the past on this that I have absolutely no idea who is even partly responsible for the circumstances surrounding Mr Sargeant’s death. But given that the High Court has advised that Mr Jones’ actions in the inquiry process was illegal clearly it doesn’t put him in a good light.
But other than mentioning it in passing I won’t chat about the Carl Sargeant inquiry now. That will be for another day. Instead I’ll focus on something else…..for Carwyn Jones has another job.
It was announced that he was to join Business News Wales to boost it’s “senior advisory team” (there’s a junior one?). I presume (as there’s no indication otherwise) that there’s a fee involved.
Imagine then that you’re an employee of Ford Bridgend Engine plant. A plant that will already have half the current workforce vanish and following reports in the media that it might be threatened further if there is a Hard Brexit. Imagine how you would feel reading that. Your local Assembly Member supposedly fighting (and failing) to protect your interests as First Minister and now Assembly Member apparently feathering his nest whilst your job and indeed your future is breaking down.
As I said Perception is everything. He might be doing it for free. Or giving his money to charity. But until we know otherwise this is the perception we’re getting. And if it’s wrong it’s up to him to put the record straight.
Potentially though it could actually get worse. The allegation, and it’s no more than that at this stage, is that he’s seeking a seat in the House of Lords. Imagine again that you’re that employee of the Ford Bridgend Engine plant. Just think what you’d think of him then. Especially if (assuming the rumour is correct) he decides to call himself Lord Jones of Bridgend. After all as I’ve posted many times in this blog he does bare some responsibility for the area’s decline. Particularly when it comes to Bridgend Town.
As I’ve also said before the one certain thing about Carwyn Jones since the Carl Sargeant incident is that he lost his skill as a politician. If I was him my next steps would be very careful indeed.
Until the next time.