Tuesday 17 May 2011

Hands-on, Top-down, Kick-ass?

Congratulations to the new Welsh Government for calling itself the "Welsh Government" (and presumably a spade a "spade"). I remember old Rhodri Morgan introducing the "WAG" name (itself an improvement on pretending the National Assembly was running the country) saying that it was what the person in the street called it. Perhaps some did but on that argument you might equally have called it the "TBC" ("Them B*ggers in Cardiff" as I have heard it very consistently referred to ever since devolution, not necessarily with hostility, in the saloon bars of rural Carmarthenshire).

At least we never copied the original wording (long gone) used by our sister entity up north. "Scottish Executive" sounded like a brand name for a brief-case, hotel room, or possibly a euphemism for some kind of discreet "personal service".

Anyway, a warm welcome to the new Ministers including Lesley Griffiths at Health. Lesley used to work in the NHS and has also been a good supporter of Hafal in her Wrexham constituency. Arguably she has the toughest brief in the new Government as the successor to Edwina Hart's hands-on, top-down, kick-ass approach and the management structure of the Welsh NHS which demands a Minister prepared to roll her sleeves up and beat up on the senior execs and non-execs in the NHS relentlessly in order to make things happen.


Talking of Scotland there has been much referencing of Scottish national heroes since canny streetfighter Alex Salmond scooped the polls up there, among them William "Braveheart" Wallace. Sorry to be predictable but, you've guessed it, Wallace was actually Welsh. "Wallace" is just another spelling of "Welsh" and, more than that, his stamping ground is where the original British/Brythonic (ie Welsh) people got squeezed between the Anglo-saxons to the south and Picts and such-like to the north. Indeed Welsh was spoken up there for hundreds of years, possibly up to the Wallace's own time. Not for the first time the Welsh also featured in large numbers on the "English" side too, Welsh longbowmen being the "Special Forces" of those days. "Yr Alban am byth!" as Mel meant to say...