Plotters snubbed as Rhodri sticks to familiar faces

Rhodri Morgan's new cabinet:

First Minister: Rhodri Morgan

Minister for Health and Social Services: Edwina Hart

Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh Language: Carwyn Jones

Minister for the Economy and Transport: Dr Brian Gibbons

Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development: Jane Davidson

Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery: Andrew Davies

Minister for Budget and Business: Jane Hutt

In addition to the seven Cabinet posts above, the First Minister has appointed Carl Sargeant as Chief Whip and Deputy Business Minister. He will attend all Cabinet meetings. The First Minister will also announce the appointment of new Deputy Ministers shortly.

To be updated...

So, here it is at last. The cabinet which will govern Wales for at least the next fortnight.

Despite earning a reputation as an absolutely gafftastic First Minister, Rhodri Morgan ain't stupid. He's identitified three issues which might cause a flare up between the government and the opposition (thus precipitating a vote of no confidence and a rainbow coalition coup) and put Plaid's best friends in charge of each.

Edwina Hart takes control of health to try and weather the storm over hospital reconfiguration, Jane Hutt will have to negotiate the budget (if indeed we get that far) and Carwyn Jones gets a new super ministry to try and ease fears over education and the Welsh language.

All the signs are, therefore, that Rhodri will make it as difficult as he absolutely can for Ieuan Wyn Jones to overthrow his government. That's why he's left the more hostile Leighton Andrews and Huw Lewis out in the cold (though they may still get Deputy Ministerial posts).

But it's a big risk. If the nationalist wing of the Labour party can't deliver the sort of consensus politics which will keep them in power, the unionist camp would be perfectly placed to take the reins and give the rainbow a damn good kicking from the opposition benches.

This is Rhodri's last throw of the dice. But I'm not convinced Ieuan Wyn Jones is willing to miss his turn. Putting Plaid-friendly faces in the key posts is one thing - keeping them there is going to be almost impossible.

UPDATE:

Reaction from Plaid (Rhodri Glyn Thomas): "Rhodri Morgan’s latest cabinet has no change of personnel and therefore there has to be a change of policy and a new sense of urgency if this government is going to make a real difference to lives across Wales.

"We have here the same old tired faces; it is unlikely this cabinet will contain renewed ambition for Wales to go with the new powers of the Assembly."

Reaction from the Conservatives (Nick Bourne): "This has all the hallmarks of the same old Labour pantomime with the same old cast, and the same old lines we've heard for the last eight years.

"This is the cabinet of Labour's Glamorgan mafia. There is no-one west of Swansea, east of Cardiff or north of Pontypridd. So much for governing for the whole of Wales."

Reaction from the Lib Dems: "Umm, who, what, where? Why isn't Mike German in it?"

Labels: , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 3:30 pm,

57 Comments:

At 3:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

education, culture and the welsh language all together- thats one hell of a brief.

a real test for mr lazy

 
At 3:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Plotters snubbed' - wouldn;t bet on it, Blamer. Far, far from it.

 
At 3:44 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

So just playing musical chairs then. No real changes for a tired Labour government by default.

 
At 3:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wot no Leighton Andrews? This must be a snub as he is no doubt lining himself up as a leadership candidate.

There is another theory though, that Rhodri does not want to pick such a strident anti-Plaid AM when there is still a sniff of a Red-Green deal. The only obvious anti-Plaid cabinet member in Andrew Davies.

I am not surprised that Huw Lewis is not included, as the whole point of a re-shuffle is to strengthen a Cabinet. He would be out of his depth.

 
At 4:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gibbons gone to transport mmm i wonder what roads he proposes closing

 
At 4:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

O'Gibbons is gonna have a hell of a torrid time with economic development!

He had some semblance of an idea of health brief and messed it up.

The man hasn't got a jar of glue!

I know they say leprechauns' come with a pot of gold (which will be handy for the Welsh economy)but all I can see is that Jack and the Beanstalk sketch with a cow and 'magic' beans!

 
At 4:28 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

I think Rhodri has made some sound choices to steady the ship. I think Carwyn is an excellent appointment in the 'super' post.

Ultimately a raft of new minsters was never on the cards, and remember this cabinet will only be in place for two years at the very longest. I think Leighton and Huw are talents and great minds who will have a big part to play in the next cabinet, but i think now is the time for consolidation.

The 'reactions' of the other parties are just fluff...

 
At 4:31 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Blamie,

I think the way you have coined the term 'nationalist' wing means i must fall under it...Although 'devolutionist' is far more appropriate.

I also think that this supposed 'split' in the Labour camp is all nat/media bumpf, yes there are differences of opinion, isnt that healthy?

I think this argument may well be settled by outside influences. The next general election? a nailed on certainty of a referendum on more powers? the potential rainbow? all these things impact hugely on the future of Welsh Labour.

 
At 4:51 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

The Funky Gibbon had a spell at Transport before replaced Jabba the Hutt at Health.

He did some very sterling work out of the limelight, and we should wish him the best in his new portfolio, he will be missed at the Health Desk.

Jabba the Hutt with the budget – hopefully not for long

 
At 4:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huw Lewis! a talent with a great mind? Now come on. Leighton is indeed a talent with a very sharp mind but Huw Lewis?

It is difficult to vary the AMs between posts as there are very few to choose from with the ability to carry out these roles. This includes all the parties. It is a safe choice but does not necessarily mean 'no change'. I am willing to give them a chance to see what they can do, as there is nothing like a 'no confidence' motion hanging over them to encourage a little more imagination.

 
At 4:52 pm, Anonymous The Silurian said...

apparently the Welsh Conservatives don't have the power to kick out party members.

So is Nick Bourne the leader or deputy leader of the "Welsh" Conservatives?

I only ask because I wondered why London kicked out Sir Eric Howells and not the Welsh based party.

 
At 4:55 pm, Blogger Luke Young said...

I've never even considered being part of a wing. I personally think its more to do with the parties than ideas about devolution. The 'Unionists' as you call them just have a strong dislike of Plaid, doesn't mean they don't want to see more powers in Cardiff Bay.

 
At 4:55 pm, Anonymous the Silurian said...

BTW.

Blamer are you working for Plaid Cymru, or the Conservative Party?

You seemed to be a little bias lately.

 
At 5:00 pm, Blogger Che Grav-ara said...

As i have posted i think the fact the same names are still there shows that there is a distinct lack of talent in the Labour backbenches. This also has the knock on effect of making it an easy ride for those in the cabinet as they know they wont be replaced within their own party. Perhaps the prospect of a rainbow coalition will force them into a preformace we have yet to see from the labour party at the assembly.

Marcusian said....

"I also think that this supposed 'split' in the Labour camp is all nat/media bumpf, yes there are differences of opinion, isnt that healthy?"

I think there is very clearly a split, you only have to look at the different pro plaid and anti plaid leeks in recent weeks. You can say it is health, and of course political debate is, but some would say that divide is partly to blame for why no agreement was formed with plaid or the lib dems and as such why there is currently an unstabble minority government in wales.

 
At 5:01 pm, Anonymous The Silurian said...

I don't think you can pigeon hole people and stick them in a crackerjack box labeled "Unionist" or "nationalist".

David Thomas made a comment on the "New "Welsh" Night Wing" blog that the parties (namely Labour) are divided between less devolution and more. Thats propbably true up to a point.

But personally I think its more to do with power.

 
At 5:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another significant influence not mentioned much is the opinion of the Welsh Labour MPs, the vast majority of whom appear to be on the UK nationalist side. They are already unhappy about their role diminishing and will do what they can to block any moves to having a Parliament.

I believe that a combination of Labour blocking a Rainbow legislative programme and the return of the Tories in London may well pave the way for our Parliament, but I do not see the point of a 2011 referendum as there is no way it could be won so soon.

 
At 5:28 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"I don't think you can pigeon hole people and stick them in a crackerjack box labeled "Unionist" or "nationalist".

David Thomas made a comment on the "New "Welsh" Night Wing" blog that the parties (namely Labour) are divided between less devolution and more. Thats propbably true up to a point.

But personally I think its more to do with power. "

Spot on in some respects- pigeon holing is silly.

"I think there is very clearly a split, you only have to look at the different pro plaid and anti plaid leeks in recent weeks. You can say it is health, and of course political debate is, but some would say that divide is partly to blame for why no agreement was formed with plaid or the lib dems and as such why there is currently an unstabble minority government in wales."

I dont think this 'split' refers to who to do business with. Leaks are in every party, its politics. In truth i think the lack of agreement with either the Lib Dems and Plaid was subject to many reasons- namely Plaid and the Lib Dems themselves. I dont think this perceived 'split' in Labour was a major factor. Plaid were offered a referendum, a new welsh language act and a barnett commission. Thats a fair deal in my eyes. God knows about those bloody lib dems!



And on the Labour backbench point- there is plenty of talent there and i think we will see this when the first post-rhodri cabinet is announced in the future. I dont see some huge talent pool in the other parties, in fact all the other parties talents in Wales are in Westminster.

 
At 5:31 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"Another significant influence not mentioned much is the opinion of the Welsh Labour MPs, the vast majority of whom appear to be on the UK nationalist side. They are already unhappy about their role diminishing and will do what they can to block any moves to having a Parliament.

I believe that a combination of Labour blocking a Rainbow legislative programme and the return of the Tories in London may well pave the way for our Parliament, but I do not see the point of a 2011 referendum as there is no way it could be won so soon."

This is very true- too many of the other parties forget that Labour is the only party representing Wales in big numbers at both westminster and the senedd. All those MP's have mandates- the vast majority in my experience believe they should represent those mandates in westminster. No other party has a real 'westminster' wing making it very easy to become all 'devolutionist' al la the tories.

 
At 5:37 pm, Anonymous a flintshire boy said...

The Labour MPs are as talentless as the AMs and are worried that greater powers means a reduction in their numbers (as in Scotland).
That's partly why they're anti-devolution. People like Tami and Lucas are also Unionist because, how can I put this, they're English with very little attachment to Wales.

 
At 6:03 pm, Anonymous Dolly Mixture said...

God Help us with that mix or mismatch
Some portfolios are too big, some don’t gel and some have totally unsuitable people in charge.
Gibbons in Economic Development what does he know about inward investment regeneration business convergence etc.
Jane Hutt -Budget she is no finance expert and was always uncomfortable with budgets.
Jane Davidson in Wellies and green at that.
Edwina will be a force to be reckoned with in Health and will be good I am sure.
Social Justice –Andrew Davies that raises eyebrows, will he have to work with Huw L –what is delivery?
Education Culture and Welsh Language – Carwyn as sure as hell won't have time to doze there

 
At 6:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian Gibbons and Huw Lewis in charge of Econimic and Transport

this is a really sick joke (a doctor and a former chemistry teacher, bring back Andrew Davies)

 
At 6:55 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

lets see how the "rainbow" sides shadow them.
When will Rhodri announce the deputy ministers?

 
At 7:19 pm, Blogger gwe said...

Agree with many responses - Education, Culture and Sport for Carwyn is huge.

Could this be a sign that Labour is willing to bend on issues such as a coherent programme Wales-wide for Welsh medium education and, dare I say it, a federal Welsh-medium university?

 
At 7:29 pm, Blogger gwe said...

Blamer - just seen your kind greeting on my new blog...

Diolch, brawd!

 
At 7:38 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see that Huw Lewis has been given another deputy post. He does seem to be called in to areas where they need some thinkers.

Economy and transport - that's got some heffty cash behind it. Let's make sure he does the job.

 
At 7:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Leighton's antics have paid off then - Rhodri should grow a backbone.

 
At 8:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deputies are:

Huw Lewis (Economy)
Leighton Andrews (Social Justice)
John Griffiths (Education)
Gwenda Thomas (Health).

No further appointments.

 
At 8:22 pm, Anonymous der said...

Huw Lewis will be sure to upgrade the links between Merthyr and Penarth!

 
At 8:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't Andrew Davies used to work for Leighton Andrews in his PR company in the 90s?
What do deputy Ministers actually do?

 
At 8:29 pm, Anonymous Iolo said...

'"Labour's tired old Cabinet"? Quite right.

(Dunno what the Tories have got against Glamorgan though. Perhaps it's because it's the county - or kingdom - which put up the most resistance to their previous round of cuts).

So why would Plaid want to replace this declining bunch right now and allow them the cold shower of opposition? A party with a strategy would leave Labour swinging in the breeze while campaigning for voters to make them the biggest party in a year or so.

 
At 8:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesnt say much about the women in the group does it?

Out of 12 government members 8 are men just 4 women.

 
At 8:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Four new Deputy Ministers have been appointed by the First Minister today (31 May, 2007) to support the new Cabinet. The Deputy Ministers will have specific responsibilities for key areas of Ministerial portfolios.

The four new Deputy Ministers are:

Gwenda Thomas Deputy Minister to the Minister for Health and Social Services with special responsibility for Social Services.

Huw Lewis Deputy Minister to the Minister for Economy and Transport with special responsibility for regeneration.

Leighton Andrews Deputy Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery with special responsibility for housing.
John Griffiths Deputy Minister for Education, Culture and Welsh Language with special responsibility for skills.


The First Minister said: “These key appointments complete the Government team. The four new deputy Ministers have proved their mettle in the previous administration and will provide strong support to Ministers in their portfolios. Huw Lewis and John Griffiths have both served as Deputy Ministers and bring great experience and expertise to their new roles.

“I am very pleased to welcome Gwenda Thomas and Leighton Andrews to their new roles. Gwenda has been a great champion for children leading our Review of Vulnerable Children in the past administration. Leighton has the strong communication skills needed to work closely with everyone who has an interest in the issue of affordable housing and is a former board member of Tai Cymru.

“We will be nominating Christine Chapman as Wales’s representative on the European Union’s Committee of the Regions in succession to Rosemary Butler who is standing down following her election as Deputy Presiding Officer.”

The appointment of Carl Sergeant as Deputy Minister for Business and Chief Whip was announced earlier today.

 
At 9:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair play, Blamer. Initially I thought this was a reshuffle so mindless as to have been practically random in its allocation of people to posts. But you're quite right. Rhodri's played the longevity card by making that 'no confidence' vote a tad harder.

Having been enlightened by your reading of the reshuffle my only complaints (as a Labour supporter) would be:

1) the Hutt is a fuckwit. I wouldn't leave in her in overnight charge of my guinea pig, never mind the nation's public spending resources

2) the Gibbon looks about as business-friendly as your average moustachioed Irish-born ex-GP relocated to Aberavon. Which is, not a lot

3) Jane Davidson is a nice, well-spoken woman, but Agriculture...?

Having had a good chuckle at Rhodri's efforts, what would the other party leaders come up with if they had to form a Cabinet? (LibDems need not answer)

 
At 9:20 pm, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

It will be interesting to see who are appointed advisors and which civil servants will follow their masters.
Yes Andrew Davies worked for Leighton and it is said that they fell out.
I wonder how Huw will work with Brian Gibbons, two very different characters.
Biggest shock for me is health, Hattie Jacques returns with Kenneth Williams as her deputy.
Who will be deputy to Carwyn and to Jane Davidson .
I thought Chris Chapman would have been in there, she is very underestimated.
And who will be our Attorney general – maybe that’s what Rhodders was talking to him about the other day at the “club”

 
At 9:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies for looking inwards for a moment but from a labour party 2010 perspective Carwyn and Leighton are the big winners today...Andrew's new job is very small compared to his last one, Jane's is also perceived as a demotion (I assume that the promoted Edwina is not seriously in the race to be Rhodri's successor).

 
At 9:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

** THE DREAM TEAM **

First Minister
...Joyce Watson

Health
...Brynle Williams

Education
...Irene James

Finance
...Michael German

Economic Development
...Trish Law

Culture, Welsh Lang & Sport
...Huw Lewis

Agriculture
...Janet Ryder

Social Justice
...William Graham

 
At 9:33 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

An astute post from Valleys Mam.
When I have dealings with the Health Dept at the WAG,, it is going to be difficult to keep a straight face – what a carry on.
Seriously worried though about Brian and Huw, can’t see it working.
Anyone running a book on how long before Huw resigns again.
Jabba the Hutt playing with our money, she made a mess of health, what can she do with the small change.
This looks like a cabinet for the short term, one made from MDF, certainly not anything Teak.

 
At 11:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My God, Waterfront is so shit!!!

 
At 11:44 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"Blamer are you working for Plaid Cymru, or the Conservative Party?

You seemed to be a little bias lately."

I think that says it all!

 
At 11:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

""Blamer are you working for Plaid Cymru, or the Conservative Party?

You seemed to be a little bias lately."

Blamerbelle said:
I think that says it all! "


LOLOL

 
At 11:56 pm, Anonymous The Silurian said...

"Blamer are you working for Plaid Cymru, or the Conservative Party?

You seemed to be a little bias lately."

I think that says it all!"

I guess that was a "yes"

 
At 11:57 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

What? Both of them?

Blimey.

I'm like the rainbow coalition love child.

 
At 12:15 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Silurian said...
"I guess that was a "yes" "

Were you a little bias once? Are there more little biases in your village? Will you vote for a bias?

Will that mean you are a Tory?

 
At 12:56 am, Blogger Ian said...

If Leighton Andrews has special responsibility for housing, does that mean that he will be promoting the stock transfer of all Council housing as he did in RCT? If so, does this clash with many Labour Council group positions, as well as with Labour's claim in Wales of having clear red water between themselves and their bosses in London?

Apologies for the longevity of the question.

 
At 8:37 am, Blogger Simo said...

I'm shocked Andrew Davies never hung onto economic development. Since his bunch of monkeys have screwed up convergance funding hundreds of jobs will be lost when Objective 1 comes to and end.

Gibbons will at the helm your having a laugh govner!!!!!!

 
At 8:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't Andrew responsible for his "monkeys" (it's called ministerial accountability)? ps Who are these monkeys?

 
At 12:14 pm, Anonymous Iolo said...

Who appointed Andrews to the board of Tai Cymru? It was certainly a Tory creation.

 
At 2:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article in today's Granuiad:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2092992,00.html

 
At 2:21 pm, Anonymous Patriot said...

Are the opposition parties in the new right wing alliance giving any thought as to how their planned coup etat is playing out amongst the welsh public? Due to opposition party actions and incompetence Rhodri was unopposed as first Minister. The rainbow had its chance and blew it. As in Scotland it is now the job of the opposition to make that government work effectively for Wales. Hold it to account yes - plot and snipe against it no.

Wales voted for a left of centre coalition that should have been built around the largest party. This is now what should happen. We will see how popular the Tories coming into government is when the first opinion polls are published on the prospect of the ‘rainbow’.

If the polls look remotely like the Western Mail poll before the election we will soon see the yawning gap between Plaid/lib Dem voters and the parties' leadership/membership

 
At 2:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patriot said...
/Are the opposition parties in the new right wing alliance giving any thought as to how their planned coup etat is playing out amongst the welsh public? /


New right wing Alliance? Do you mean New Labour?

 
At 3:01 pm, Anonymous The Silurian said...

To be honest, I wonder if the Welsh public give a damn? I think they feel screwed by whoever is in!

 
At 3:17 pm, Anonymous The Silurian said...

Anonymous said
[b]"Were you a little bias once? Are there more little biases in your village? Will you vote for a bias?
Will that mean you are a Tory?[/b]

Well anon, I probably asked for that! too early in the morning, I guess. I think you knew what I meant.

Yes there are lot of biases in my "village" usually against the non English speaking majority that make up my beautiful city.

Is Cardiff Bay your "village"? Is that why you all post anonymously?

When my dad was on the railways, he found a corpse near a railway line down the docks.

Looks like there's lots of them down these days! ;)

 
At 3:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Silurian said...
...To be honest, I wonder if the Welsh public give a damn? I think they feel screwed by whoever is in! ...


That's exactly the point. There was that hue and cry from some with red banners about Plaid and Lib/Dems snuggling up to Tories when there was a possibility of a Rainbow coalition.

Yet Labour policies themselves speak a lot louder than the words of its' supporters. This Labour government has hit at the fabric of society, has wasted billions on poorly researched projects and tries to show is cares by interfering and causing more costs and bedlam. Many new pensioners have a bleak future they never planned or expected due to Gordon Brown's messing with their pension. This government makes the poorest pay taxes to look after the poorest so not to upset the richest. This is resulting in a massive gap between the rich and poor.

 
At 3:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Silurian said...

"Well anon, I probably asked for that! too early in the morning, I guess. I think you knew what I meant."

I guessed it was brain burp;-)

"Is Cardiff Bay your "village"? Is that why you all post anonymously?"

Can't speak for the others but I am the only welsh speaking welshman in this non Cardiff village. I understand how repressed you feel.

"When my dad was on the railways, he found a corpse near a railway line down the docks.
Looks like there's lots of them down these days! ;) "

Oh I'm sorry. Is the docks near the Bay? Oh I've even more sorry. Best get back to Politics Sil.

 
At 4:48 pm, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

Seems as if my comments about civil servants being moved have been reinforced by an "expert"

Martin Rhisiart, an expert in Welsh politics who is based at Cardiff University, said the choice of ministers suggested Mr Morgan had turned to his most trusted colleagues in an attempt to avert the dreaded vote of no confidence.
“It’s certainly a streamlined Cabinet, and in one way it removes the risk of having too many people and too many new faces,” he said.
“They all have experience of ministerial responsibilities in the first two Assemblies.
“They are the most trusted and experienced – he’s sticking to the ones he’s known well and who have delivered, and who he trusts.”
Mr Rhisiart also forecast that the reshuffle would precipitate an extensive reorganisation in the Welsh civil service.

 
At 5:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Valleys Mam, there's an intersting string on civil servants and politicians on Gwe's blog

 
At 5:34 pm, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

Anon
Thanks for that will go look

 

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