The story of the week this week - second only to the tale of escaped cows taking over a Tredegar street – has to be the unintentional meeting of Edwina Hart with MPs on the select committee on Welsh affairs.
As reported by David Cornock, “It was either an amazing coincidence or someone in Welsh politics has a mischievous sense of humour.”
Just in case anyone is unaware of the background a row broke out last week when it was revealed that that Ms Hart, Labour Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science Minister had refused to meet with the Commons Welsh Affairs committee. Members of the Welsh Affairs committee - all but two of whom represent constituencies in Wales - offered to travel to Cardiff Bay to meet her on September 15. Apparently Ms Hart sent the committee a two-sentence response to their request which simply, and rather rudely, stated: “I will not be attending
In answer to an oral question in the Siambr on the 23rd June she was equally scathing
Andrew R.T. Davies: Engagement with people is a vital plank for encouraging inward investment and competitiveness within the Welsh economy. Do you think that your letter to the Welsh Affairs Committee was therefore an appropriate answer to a committee from another place that was looking to help you with your ministerial responsibilities to attract more business into Wales? Could you explain why you feel unable to meet with that committee?
Edwina Hart: I am required to look very carefully at all invitations that I receive in respect of my portfolio. The Welsh Affairs Committee has also written to me about issues around broadband, and I am happily sending it written evidence on that, because it is a matter that needs to be dealt with jointly across the UK. However, the economy is my responsibility in Wales, and I think that I am capable of doing my job
So when she walked into the dining room of the Ramada hotel in Wrexham to find those very same committee members sat there she must have surely been looking out for Jeremy Beadle to appear. No doubt some SPAD came in for some harsh words when she returned to the safety of the Bay Bubble.
The arrogance of this woman is quite astonishing. In her previous incarnation as Minister for Health she refused to accept any responsibility for any of the multitudinous problems within the health service, despite making it very clear that she was in charge! Now she is so confident in her own ability to rejuvenate the economy of Wales that she is unwilling to meet with MPs who presumably have the same aim in mind.For all our sakes let's hope she is as good as she thinks she is.