National (School) Assembly for Wales
Friday, February 09, 2007
Over on the Croydonian blog there's an 'epic undertaking' going on to work out what each and every MP did before entering parliament. They expect to find that almost everyone in the Commons has at some time practiced law. What a wonderfully diverse bunch.
But what about the Senedd? Is that brimming with barristers too?
Well, no. The professional breakdown of the Assembly is a rather nice little indicator of quite how different the place is from the whips and wigs of Westminster.
One in three Assembly Members formerly worked in the education sector: 14 in schools or further education colleges and six as lecturers. No wonder plenary sessions often take on an unbearably preachy quality.
I also found some basis for the accusation that the Assembly is no more than a glorified council meeting: 25 AMs served or continue to serve as councillors.
As for those involved in law, the Senedd presents a mere four members, five fewer than the Croydonian has counted so far in parliament... and he hasn't even finished the Bs yet!
posted by Blamerbell @ 6:53 am,
- At 9:08 am, said...
Much has been made of the gender balance in the Assembly, which is great.
Very little has been made of the absence of the working class from the Assembly. It largely consists of middle-class people taking decisions on behalf of everyone else. The ruling class don't have to bother with such a toothless irrelevance.
- At 11:46 am, Welsh Spin said...
Although the Asembly has a fair minority of members with no more than basic school leaving qualifications: Ann Jones, Carl Sargent, Karen Sinclair, Gwenda Thomas, Brynle Williams, Trish Law ... or is that principally a reflection on Clwyd?
- At 12:46 pm, Dylan Jones-Evans said...
Yes, but there are a lot of current members who like to think of themselves as working class despite coming from very comfortable backgrounds, especially certain members of the Cabinet who should know better.
Having never thought of myself as being of any particular class (when you are from the Llyn Peninsula, there are things more important than that in life), it was only one generation ago that my father was born and brought up in abject poverty because of my grandfather being killed during the Second World War and my nain having to survive on the meagre scraps from a war widow's pension.
If I am considered to be middle class, then it is because of his hard work and determination in securing a future for his sons and daughters through his hard work.
I am sure the same is true of many people in Wales who, only a generation ago, would have had their families in the same position.
Certainly, I know my roots and will forever be proud of them, whatver label political commentators wish to put on the so called 'class' of current or potential AMs
- At 4:16 pm, hafod said...
or is that principally a reflection on Clwyd?
Careful... insult a Clwydie, prepare to be stabbed. That was our school motto anyway.
Jones/Sargeant/Sinclair and Williams, like many others, are in the Assembly solely because of the party machine. It says a lot that both the Labour and Tory parties are so lacking in talent that they have to plumb these depths... Janice Gregory, Irene James, Denise Idiot Jones are other examples of the cream being very thick at the top of the milk.
- At 5:42 pm, said...
Why are they bothering? the House of Commons Library has a detailed breakdown available on their website.
A lot of lawyers, but far less than in the past - the number of lawyers has been declining steadily for 50 years (probably to do with earning potential).
Most common is teacher (or FE lecturer) as I recall.
- At 9:16 pm, Blamerbell said...
Good points there Dylan.
I'd guess the Assembly was actually a lot more working class than parliament. But that's neither here nor there.
What's important is that they're up to the job.
If they want powers over policing and other home offices responsibilites devolved, they must prove they can do a better job.
At the moment, the NHS is in disarray and the Assembly is *still* falling out over the budget. Hardly model behaviour.