Failure deserves the highest honour

The Race is on for the next First Minister of Wales. It is not a job whereby there will be an interview panel made up of professional people with an immense background knowledge of what the job entails. It will not require impeccable references from previous employers. There will be no trick questions no observation of body language, no psychological profiling.

For the highest job in office in Wales it will be a selection panel made up of people from the same pool who have worked and socialised together in the same place for the last 20 years. There will be no outsider no matter how brilliant they may be.

The two front runners are men. This despite a drive to include more women or if approved more men who identify as women in the Senedd. Some will point to the track record of the applicants. One is a Health Minister under whose watch the NHS in Wales has been in crisis. Health Boards being described as disastrous. The other is the Education Minister. Wales’ performance has fallen to its lowest level ever in maths, reading and science tests taken by 15-year olds. In the first international Pisa assessments since Covid, Welsh scores were the lowest of all UK nations and the results gap has widened.

Contrary to what we may tell our children we do reward failure.

Wales is a small nation and the world of politics is a very small place. We may kid ourselves that we have a choice at the ballot box but the pool is extremely small with no real alternatives for anyone to choose AN Other. It is red, blue yellow and green in the main with a few loose canons thrown in for entertainment.

If we are serious as a nation in managing our own affairs and improving the way we live and work, our health system, our education system, our economy then we should have the very best people in those roles and they should be non political. Just because 34% of Swansea votes red and the other majority 66% votes between a variety of parties we get the red candidate. 66% voted against having the red candidate. Try explaining that to a child in one of our failing schools. No wonder we are bottom. Not even the math makes sense.

There should be a contract of employment but one doubts whether on previous evidence any of them would actually read that contract. A First Minister with a one year contract to deliver or it’s on yer electric bike. Perhaps that would spark some real improvements. Those below might be far more inclined to pull their fingers out, dodge the limelight and get out and about to manage their portfolios, which in reality are managed by civil servants.

Forget Nationalism as the panacea for the immense problems this small nation is experiencing. Forget the red herring screaming Westminster and IF ONLY we had control there things would be so different. If our main political establishment cannot function properly and deliver for the people of Wales then perhaps it is time those very expensive layers in expensive suits and dresses with expensive homes and cars are made to join the reality we all endure 365 days of the year.

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