There are plenty of people across the political spectrum whose views I disagree with but who I respect for the way they conduct themselves. There are others whose views I totally agree with but don’t like personally one bit. In the case of Leighton Andrews I can find no common ground whatsoever.
On a personal level we have never got along – he ignores me completely unless we are in company where to do so would be rude in the extreme, and that suits me fine. He has a huge ego that is only balanced by his total lack of personality. But what really irritates me is his insistence that he is always right and his refusal to let little things such as facts get in his way.
His interview with the BBC’s Ciaran Jenkins today is a classic. When faced with the bare statistics that show there has been a fall in the number of students achieving the top grades at A level in Wales he refused to acknowledge the fact and instead kept repeating the phrase “Ciaran you’re such a cynic.”
He repeatedly drawled on about the fact that the Welsh Baccalaureate figures were not included. Correct Leighton – they were not. But then they never have been so it does not affect the statistics as presented. Also the Welsh Bacc is only equivalent to an ‘A’ grade – so if included it would have actually made the A* figures look worse.
Now I would never take anything away from all the hard working students who have done their best and achieved excellent results overall. However, it still remains a fact that they are not performing as well as their counterparts in England. Through no fault of their own. And for the Education Minister to refuse to see there is a problem is astounding. If you don’t admit a problem exists then how on earth can you hope to address it? Still it should not come as a surprise - it's a methodology common amongst Labour.