First Minister's Questions

Don't call me Nero!! Credit: ITV News Wales

First Minister's Questions is always a bit of fun! It’s a great opportunity for First Minister Carwyn Jones and his political adversary Andrew R.T. Davies, the leader of the opposition, to have a bit of a go at each other.

Perhaps not so much as a display of rapier wit, more a show of verbal cudgelling, FMQ’s never disappoints!

Even before the FM had begun to lean on the Senedd’s equivalent of the dispatch box, the portable lectern, the Tories had been preparing their ground. Earlier in the day they had accused the First Minister of acting like Nero dithering and dawdling his way through a year in office.

It was contained in a press release that wanted to highlight Welsh Labour’s worst failings since the Assembly Elections. Failings which led Andrew RT Davies to summon up memories of his classical education by poetically being quoted pithily saying Welsh Ministers are “fiddling while Rome burns “

He began listing Welsh Labour’s failings by numbers, starting with 390 days since Wales was awarded law making powers which had given rise to the number one. Exactly the number of Assembly Bills introduced by the Welsh Government in that time. The leader of the opposition was clearly a man with a burden he wished to share by the time it came to Plenary

Why, he asked the FM, had Cardiff been discounted in the same way as such luminous dens of financial know-how as Torbay, Bicester and Hull when it came to being dropped in the first round of bidding to bring the Green investment bank to Cardiff. Especially when CardiffCity Centre is itself being dubbed a financial enterprise zone?

Despite an eloquent lead up to the question, the answer was a somewhat terse reply from the FM: “because there are no direct flights to Frankfurt“.

From then on, it went from bad to worse with Carwyn Jones reminding the Conservatives about that very sore subject of their one day rally at St Asaph last Sunday. A rally which the FM pointed out had not been graced by the presence of Prime Minister David Cameron, who instead decided to visit Scotland.

Carwyn wondered if this was because the PM held the Welsh Conservatives in low regard or merely their leader Andrew RT Davies.

All very entertaining !