Thursday, 7 February 2008

How to make enemies and alienate people

As every member, staffer, cleaner and indeed visitor at the Senedd knows, there is little love lost between Mid & West Wales Regional Labour AMs Alun Davies and Joyce Watson. Which is odd when you consider that as both were elected due to serving Labour AMs getting the boot last May, both would be counting their lucky stars to be there at all.

While Ms Watson has pretty much taken that line, rumour has it that the ever-friendly Alun has not. You see, it is understandable that Alun Davies wants to be king-pin in this region, and views Watson very much as an annoying source of competition. It's alleged that with the tacit approval of a senior figure within Welsh Labour, he's been setting about undermining Watson at every available opportunity. This simmering hatred has, however, bubbled just beneath the surface for the past eight months, with Watson taking Davies' petty jibes with something approaching good grace.

Indeed, even while Davies appeared to be groomed as one of Rhodri's trusted 'briefers' to the media, Watson got on with - shock, horror - trying to represent the people who [sort of] elected her.
Now, here's where it gets really nasty. You see, a few days ago the BBC broke a story that the Welsh Conservatives had made an official complaint about Joyce Watson's misuse of Assembly postage and resources to mail Labour Party members. The thrust of the coverage was pretty clear in its agenda - she should have known better, the rules are clear, and that her regional AM colleague Alun Davies may suffer in the fall out through no fault of his own etc etc.

But dig a little deeper, and alarm bells start ringing. For example, how would the Welsh Conservatives have ever found out that Watson had been mailing Party members? Of course, from a Labour source in her patch with an axe to grind [allegedly]. But which Labour source drinks with 'leaky' Conservatives on a regular basis in the pubs and bars of Cardiff Bay? And received almost universal sympathy in all the coverage of the story?

Now let me think...
(Hat tip to the anonymous)


Anonymous 7 February 2008 at 14:51  

Ohhhh Alun. I would like to say I'm shocked that a member of Joyce's own party would so maliciously stab her in the back, but really, this is Alun Davies we're talking about so quite clearly I'm not in the slightest bit surprised.
I can understand why he would dislike the feeling of competition with Joyce. She tends to actually do her job, whereas Alun seems to prefer to go drinking with the Tories.
Well bad luck Alun, even with Joyce's recent misdemeanour, she still looks like a far better AM than you'll ever be.

nick b 7 February 2008 at 14:59  

Impecable timing by Alun too! Coming at the end of the Conway affair week as the media and commentariat are on the hunt for new 'sleaze' angles. The whole business appears so trivial it would normally barely register. Wonder hgow long he was sitting on it?

Indeed it is as yet by no means clear that the rules have been breached. Apparently there were no party political references, but information about Joyce's activities and sugeries etc. As for the recipients, well it's a mailing list she has legitimate access to and it is difficult to argue the mail was 'unsolicited' since it is a fair assumption that a party member will be interested in what their representative is up to. In time Joyce will no doubt build up further lists of people who she can write to, but she's gotta start somewhere!

Lucy Sheppard 7 February 2008 at 15:09  

A few quick thoughts
1. What a complete git
2. He looks like a Crimewatch e-fit
3. What a complete git

Anonymous 7 February 2008 at 15:11  

Not sure I can add anything to that Lucy. Although I think you could have gone up to at least 10. with 'What a complete git'

Obviously Anon 7 February 2008 at 15:25  

This is whizzing round peoples inbox in the Assembly. Nothing quite bridges the political divide like hatred of Alun Davies. It's even making people feel a bit sorry for Joyce Watson, which is another rare feat. Good work, Miss W!

clairebear95 7 February 2008 at 15:46  

Only a man like Alun Davies could come off worse when his regional colleague is caught breaking official rules. And what is with those teeth? Good god man! Get some dentures. Or a mask.

Anonymous 7 February 2008 at 16:03  

He really is a man of no loyalty, compassion or morality whatsoever. By all means come out strongly against abuses of funds, as Joyce Watsons mailshot clearly was. But to do it for such obviously self serving reasons is outrageous. And to think that Rhodri Morgan actually rates the guy. Enough said - about both of them.

Seneddwr 7 February 2008 at 16:28  

Ah! Takes me back. Good to see that some things never change. He always was a shifty, power-hungry narcissistic toad.

Anonymous 7 February 2008 at 16:44  

Hey Seneddwr
Hi there, I was just about to post that you had given an insight into this creeps character when he was elected.
Once a toad ,always a toad I just hope the whips do something about him.
But this is not an isolated incident. Some of the dirty tricks that have gone on during elections have made my hairstand on end. One Plaid supporter had a brick through his window for canvassing in nant-y moel.
I just wish this man spent his time being constructive about his job, that's what he is paid for.
The other maxim what goes around comes around pops into my mind .Watch your back Mr Davies

luke_r_thomas 7 February 2008 at 16:57  

Good to see the sisterhood sticking it to Alun 'wandering hands' Davies. What a complete ******* *******. (Will that get through moderation?!?)

Anonymous 7 February 2008 at 17:08  

can't beleive no one has come out with some of the stories from his bute communication days. he was notorious for so very many things. hard to understand how he got selected. labour must be in the dark or very stupid he is a ticking timebomb.

Carlo Marko 7 February 2008 at 17:17  

Read the last line of Vaughn Roderick's blog (trnslated by Orodvicius here) and tell me Alun Davies didn't brief this!

Landsker Boy 7 February 2008 at 17:57  

He's obvously worried that when it comes to reselection Joyce Watson could be placed top of the list by the party faithful and it's then goodbye to Mr.Davies. What he failed to realise is that this type of issue doesn't make any difference to the average party activist. They will judge the AMs on their work load over the next few years not on the number of TV appearances on programmes watched only by residents in care homes. What is interesting is why Vaughn Roderick should highlight an issue which most ordinary voters couldn't care less about. Wendy Alexander has been cleared by the Electoral Commission in Scotland and we are talking about the postage for a couple of envelopes. Let's get real and start talking about the issues that matter. If Davies was a real socialist instead of a Shoni he would be more concerned about the figures for low wages highlighted for large areas of his constituency in the IPPR report on poverty published at the end of last year.

Miss Wagstaff 7 February 2008 at 20:17  

It's a little early for them to be worried about reselection in the region. As before, their success depends on Welsh Labour doing badly in the region and not gaining/losing first-past-the-post seats.

For failure breeds success for the regional list. Not a good position to be in for a party member. If anything, they both need to increase their profile in order to gain nomination for a traditional constituency seat.

Concerned of Tunbridge wells 7 February 2008 at 20:22  

The way Labour is going at the moment the only seats it will win in the future will be on the regional lists. The party is complete disarray. Brown's performance at PMQ suggest that the guy needs real help.

Anonymous 9 February 2008 at 12:16  

This has made my day! Davies outed as the grubby shite bag he is... and hopefully a Wales win this afternoon!

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Welshcakes Limoncello 10 February 2008 at 19:14  

Welcome to blogpower from a fellow-Welshie, Miss Wagstaff. What an interesting post about the lengths some politicians will go to in order to discredit others.

The Half-Blood Welshman 11 February 2008 at 17:34  

Sadly I'm not surprised. I've posted on Alun Davies before, and I agree with Ronald Weasley- poisonous toadstools don't change their spots (although that turned out to be wrong in the books, but hey, it's a good phrase)! However, if this story is proven this horrible man is finished, dead man walking, kaputt - and good riddance to bad rubbish.

Vaughan 11 February 2008 at 22:40  

Sorry to dissapoint conspiracy theorists. The story about Joyce Watson didn't come from Alun Davies (or anyone remotely associated with him).It didn't come from the Conservaitives either. It came from something called "journalism".

Anonymous 12 February 2008 at 08:47  

Stop being such a pompous arse, Vaughan... it's not difficult getting the odd scoop when you're part of the biggest media organisation in Wales. The disgrace is that BBC Wales is now reduced to begging for "viewers' stories" to fill the pisspoor Wales Today. Skateboarding dogs anyone?

Tony De Vit 12 February 2008 at 09:12  

And where do 'journlaists' get their stories from, Vaughn? 'Sources', right?

And while we're at it, are we really meant to take the word of an insufferably pompous former-Nationalist defending the name of his insufferably vile formwr-Nationalist mate? Get over yourself, pal.

Anonymous 12 February 2008 at 10:06  

Vaughn. I always find your Welsh Language postings less offensively filled with self-importance, though I'm not sure why. It could be because I don't speak Welsh.

Miss Wagstaff 13 February 2008 at 09:59  

Be nice everyone. There's room for us all in Cardiff Bay ;)

Anonymous 26 September 2008 at 11:45  

I see Alun is still making enemies - The Carmarthen Journal ran his attack on Adam Price with Adam's reponse - 'To be accused of careerism and betrayal by a former chair of Plaid who sold his soul to Labour in return for an assembly seat, and who was once a paid lobbyist for the tobacco industry that has caused so much suffering to millions-beggars belief'.

Adam added 'We were close friends for twenty years. I am sorry he should betray a friendship to make a political comment'.

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