Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Digging for victory?

I've been struggling to keep up with, or rather stay at wake during, the war of e-mails between Labour and the Conservatives over David Anstee's defection.

Not since Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee disputed the last comb in the cabinet room has a political row assumed such relevance.

To bring you up to date, the Conservatives have now withdrawn their threat to report Rhondda AM and junior Minister Leighton Andrews to the standards commissioner.

Indeed, the Welsh Tories' "chief of staff" (don't you love these military titles?) Paul Morris has issued a grovelling apology to Rhondda AM and junior Minister Leighton Andrews.

That hasn't stopped Paul Morris's boss, Nick Bourne, from writing to the Prime Minister to complain about Labour tactics in exaggerating the role played by David Anstee in Welsh Conservative politics.

Indeed, Anstee himself has criticised the way the defection was handled.

Nick Bourne said the claim about Mr Anstee and the manifesto "is totally without foundation and massively overstates the role played by Mr Anstee" - the Tories no longer claim Leighton Andrews was responsible for some of the claims made by Labour.

Anstee himself has given an exclusive interview to Rhondda TV about the reasons behind his defection.

At least, I think he has. I tuned in to Rhondda TV but unfortunately there were technical problems - rather too much wind noise on the microphone and sound out-of-synch with the pictures - so I may have missed the point.

Perhaps the station needs a little guidance in broadcast skills from an unremunerated honorary professor at Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies?

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