On U-105 shortly: On Slugger Awards MLA of the year

Just a quick heads up if you’re near a wireless; I’m going to be talking to Frank on U-105 in the next ten or fifteen minutes discussing the MLA of the Year award. Remember, keep nominating!

  • 6countyprod

    A ‘wireless’ what?

    You are showing your age, old boy!

  • DR

    You sounded great mick lol.

    got a phone call and missed part of it though, when are the award presentations?

  • elvis parker

    Mick one look at the Assembly Agenda is the Chamber or the Committees and you will see that the workload is so light that any talk an award is a joke
    Especially given the expenses scandal and the fact that the Assembly is the last institution in these islands to face up to this

  • Mick Fealty


    I spent the train ride back from Swansea wih Andrew McKinley, an old fashioned working class Labour MP from South London. He’s respected right across the piste as a hard working and decent MP.

    He’s stepping down next time out. Why? Because he’s knackered. He works seven days a week and is (too?) diligent in the way he handles his workload. He works with his wife because, even as London MP, they might barely see each other.

    I was on the news floor of the Daily Telegraph when my colleagues there broke the expenses story. It was a good story and it took a lot of hard work to break it properly. But it has also given rise to an outpouring of stupid populism that insists on quoting the price of everything and understanding the value of nothing.

    I am not trying to gainsay proper arguments that the Assembly could be smaller and that we are on the whole not getting value for money from our democratically elected. And the question of how we do more with less, is not going to go away quickly or easily. Nor am I tempted to resile to the trite, easy argument that it is better than our politicians trying to kill each other as it was before.

    The purpose of the Awards is to recognise industry and enterprise within our political class, and by negative inference make it easier to part goats from sheep. I would argue that the Committees are one of the few parts of government that are actually working. Although I take your point, it does at least offer a degree scrutiny of senior civil servants and business leaders that was not there previously.

    That said, most the political indolence in the system arises from lack of political will at the top to make things work at anything nearing optimum pitch.

  • exile

    [i]I spent the train ride back from Swansea wih Andrew McKinley [/i](sic)[i], an old fashioned working class Labour MP from South London. He’s respected right across the piste as a hard working and decent MP.

    He’s stepping down next time out. Why? Because he’s knackered.[/i]

    Or maybe because he’s got a guilty conscience. Wouldn’t it be something if his successor was Nazi Nick?

  • Elvis,

    This post says a lot for me:

    “In ten years time there are going to be a whole load of academic papers and Waterstone shelf fillers saying “You know, we really messed up that whole ‘reforming Parliament’ jobbie; seems we’ve got a bunch of wealthy toffs, businessmen and soulless technocrats as MPs now and they’ve got even less time, resources or ability to do the job. Hmm… I blame those people in the past!””

    The thing everyone seems to have forgotten during this expenses farago is that elected politicians have rivals. It’s very telling that – in a year when we’ve had the greatest act of larceny in living memory – when greedy incompetent bankers have stolen huge sums from all of us – that everyone has been stirred into a frenzy about the dodgy arrangements of a small minority of elected politicians.

    A lot of people have been going berserk demanding concessions that will only weaken individual parliamentarians while we’ve seen the damage that is caused by parliament not being strong enough to stand up to it’s rivals.

    Larry Elliot put this one quite well a few days ago here:

    “But there is a motley band of discontents for whom business as usual, in whatever form, means that another crisis will erupt before too long. They argue that the exiguous nature of current reform proposals is explained by the institutional capture of governments by the investment banks, the world’s most powerful lobbying groups.”

    As long as the only communication that the public has with politicians is to scream at them about their failings, they’re never going to be in a position to exercise the influence that they need to.

    Remember, there is no evidence that the majority of politicians aren’t primarily public spirited. Most MPs and MLAs aren’t there mainly to line their own pockets. A handful are – don’t tar them all with the same brush.

    And also remember, politicians are the least-worst people that we can get to run things. Who would you have instead?

  • Exile,

    I’ve met Andrew MacKinlay a few times and he has a very good reputation as an honest and fair-minded politican.

    There’s a good account of his decision to stand down published in a hostile newspaper here:

    It’s typical of this whole expenses business that people have felt able to keep making nasty unsubstantiated allegations like your ‘maybe because he’s got a guilty conscience’ one. You should withdraw it and apologize.

  • exile

    “Unsubstantiated”? I’m sure that if you went and had a good chat with Dr. Kelly’s widow and children and you would come away somewhat more enlightened.

    As for the Telegraph being “a hostile newspaper”: who the hell do you think that you’re trying to fool? Take your head from out of the sand.

  • If you think that the Telegraph makes a habit of being friendly to Labour MPs I would urge you to reassess that view in the light of a huge pile of evidence.

    And to be clear, your general ‘he has a guilty conscience’ comment is about his questioning of Dr David Kelly and not the subject of this thread – the question of expenses?

  • exile

    The subject of this thread is ‘expenses’? Really?

    The Telegraph is well and truly in cahoots with Brown’s Labour and you know it.

  • Mick Fealty


    That’s one of Guido’s old talking points. Some of those float, many others sink without trace.

  • I believe you may be visiting us from a parallel universe if you think that this is really the case exile.