Let’s hope ‘mod­est man’ has oomph

Western Mail - - WM2 | VIEWS OF WALES - Ger­wyn Mor­gan Beu­lah, New­cas­tle Em­lyn

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Mr Mark Drake­ford on his elec­tion as leader of the Labour Party in Wales.

He will in the next few days slide seam­lessly into the of­fice of First Minister in the Senedd at this cru­cial time in our coun­try’s his­tory. I wish him well in his big­gest po­lit­i­cal chal­lenge to date. He strikes me as a gen­tle, kind, con­sid­er­ate and well­liked politi­cian.

How­ever, what Wales des­per­ately needs at this time as First Minister is some­one with charisma, lead­er­ship and dy­namism. Un­for­tu­nately for Wales, they are not the qual­i­ties that have been as­so­ci­ated with Mark Drake­ford dur­ing his long time as a minister in the Senedd.

They are, how­ever, the very qual­i­ties pos­sessed by Ni­cola Stur­geon, First Minister of Scot­land, and she has used those qual­i­ties to el­e­vate Scot­land and Scot­tish af­fairs to the fore­front of Bri­tish pol­i­tics. What a con­trast we have in Wales. Our in­flu­ence and stand­ing in West­min­ster have never been weaker, and we have been side­lined com­pletely by Scot­land and North­ern Ire­land. At the same time the Assem­bly, un­der the dead hand of Labour, has proved such a dis­ap­point­ment – tooth­less, timid and too afraid to tackle con­tentious but im­por­tant is­sues such as lo­cal gov­ern­ment re-or­gan­i­sa­tion and the M4 re­lief road.

I have to smile when I read that one well-known po­lit­i­cal pun­dit has de­scribed Mark Drake­ford as a “su­per-sharp so­cial­ist”. To me, what comes to mind is that de­light­ful quote at­trib­uted to Voltaire, Win­ston Churchill, Harry Tru­man and oth­ers: – “He is a mod­est man, who has much to be mod­est about.”

I sin­cerely hope he proves me wrong.

> Ro­manesque carv­ing, St Woo­los This photo is from our Flickr group Post­cards from Wales. Join and share your pho­tos here www.waleson­line.co.uk/flickr/ Cathe­dral, New­port, Gwent. Pic­ture taken by Nigel Turner

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