Part 1/4. The Top Ten Worst Welsh Politicians 2011.
Well, quite a year for Welsh politics eh? The political landscape is not quite what it was when we entered 2011, and it has not been one for remaining static throughout the year either. From slim line Labour leads in the Senedd, to Tory electoral successes being marred only by leaving their party leader behind, to the Plaid Cymru leadership employing an election strategy that required the shooting of both feet, to the Lib Dems struggling to understand how many members they had, whether those who were there could be there and, for Peter Black in particular, establishing whether they were a Wales or a London based party, before settling on the idea that whilst nobody is going to vote them into government, they can still make themselves out to be the kingmakers: it’s been eventful, even of the electorate didn’t pay any attention. There will be a time to review all these happenings in good time, but for the moment we would like to pitch the first part of the top ten least effective politicians in Wales in 2011. This largely comes in response to the almost farcical offerings of the ITV Wales hosted Welsh Politician of the Year awards, which largely served to insult the majority of politically inclined viewers by presenting Cheryl Gillan as the Welsh MP of the year – ridiculous and verging on disgusting. But that is by the by – here is our list, from 10 to 8 for now, of the worst Welsh politicians of the year!
10. Neil McEvoy.
The Plaid Cardiff councillor was a bit of an unknown going into this year, but after some entertaining bust ups, has certainly made a name for himself. McEvoy will probably be best remembered for his scuffles with the Occupy Cardiff movement, where he seemed to develop a self image of turncoat extraordinaire, offering assistance and heartfelt support for the protestors for roughly 7 minutes, before decrying the actions of the crowd and sending in the truncheons. Not content with such crowd breaking antics, he then managed to follow protesters to a well known pub, and cause a second fracas to spill over, eventually being turfed out of the pub, and that of course was all a precursor to his (temporary) banishment from his own party for turning his wrath on a charity group. His is a name we have heard plenty about this year, and all for comically poor reasons. For being so consistently in the limelight for the wrong reasons, McEvoy is probably on paper for worst of a bad bunch, but his ranking reflects the fact that he really has little sway over anything, and thank goodness for that!
9. Andy Klom.
Whereas we’ve all probably seen enough of McEvoy, Andy Klom is a case of the opposite. Who is Andy Klom, and where is he? Head of the European Commission Office in Wales is who he is, where he is is something entirely different. Given the recent battles in (or over might be more appropriate) Brussels that have been taking place, we might have expected some vocal interjections from the man who speaks on behalf of this institutions in Wales. What did we get? Nothing of substance, and nothing of substance has largely been the story of Klom’s contributions to the Welsh political scene in the 7 odd years of so that he has been rumbling around here. We would welcome McEvoy levels of incompetence over this silent man. Who knows, he may be doing something useful, but it would be the first anyone has heard about it if he has.
8. Paul Flynn.
Poor old Paul Flynn, the old Labour dog keeps a vice like grip on his Newport constituency seat, but increasingly it seems that this mainstay of the Welsh political landscape is in increasing need of a cosy seat, a warm beverage and an early night. Flynn has become a little obsessional with certain things in recent years, Iraq and nuclear power in particular (I wonder how important these things have been to his Newport voters?), and, if you follow his twitter offerings, you will find an almost daily reference to something in the nuclear spectrum, all of it terribly negative and scary you’ll appreciate. But for Flynn, perhaps the only thing scarier than nuclear power, is a Jew in power? Perhaps too harsh, but Flynn’s perceived anti-Semitic remarks (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15991739) will certainly be the thing that he is remembered for this year, and sadly, for however long he sticks it out in politics now, this is a gaff that will follow him around to the day he gives up his Westminster seat, and replaces it for the much recommended recliner.
7 to 5 coming soon, one Plaid, one Labour and one whatever Andy Klom is so far, two Tories and a Lib Dem coming up, I wonder who they might be…?