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Politics is really 99% perspiration; SPIN DOCTOR.

IT may be a new year, but Spin Doctor isn't one for change and that's why we make no apologies for returning to our favourite Welsh constituency: Montgomeryshire.

And first we turn to the man who will challenge local MP and on-off partner of an underwear model Lembit Upik, at this year's general election - trouser-free Tory Glyn Davies. It seems Mr Davies has been kicking up a stink among local party members.

Worrying that, like Rhodri Morgan, he has a tendency to look unkempt, Mr Davies writes on his blog it had "not gone unnoticed by one of the snappier dressed attendees at this morning's committee".

He adds: "At the close of the meeting, he rushed downtown (if Welshpool can be said to have a 'downtown'), returning with a can of Boots 'Cool Blue' 24 hour anti-perspirant.

"Couldn't believe it. I take a shower every night, and twice a day in hot weather. But regular readers will recall that I've had trouble with sweaty armpits before."

To be fair, if it's honesty in politicians you want, you're not really going to get any more bewilderingly honest than that.

STICKING with Montgomeryshire, has Mr Davies' rival, the aforementioned Mr Upik, made a new year's resolution to tone down the sauce in his columns for noted political journal the Daily Sport? Er... no. Regular readers may recall how Mr Upik was given a slap on the wrists by his party leader Kirsty Williams last year for his salivating style when writing about the paper's topless models.

Alas, he doesn't seem to be about to turn over a new leaf.

"All that's left for me to say is a Happy New Year to all my readers and I look forward to a lot more fun with you all in 2010," he tells his readers in his latest dispatch.

"And maybe a couple of Daily Sport stunnas too!" Phwoar! Etc.

WHEN it's insight into the treacherous weather which swamped Wales last week you want, who's the man to turn to? First Minister Carwyn Jones, below, of course.

"It's certainly something I want to keep an eye on," he said last week.

"So far supplies of grit seem to be holding out; we don't want to reach a situation where major roads are not being gritted, but we are not in that situation."

Which begs the question: has Mr Jones now mistaken himself for Derek Brockway? LEFT-wing think tank the Bevan Foundation - a body which several AMs are members of and claim the fee back from expenses - is currently advertising for a Researcher on Fuel Poverty on their website.

Looking for "a skilled and experienced researcher to investigate fuel poverty", the position pays a not-to-be-sniffed-at-in-theserecessionary-times pounds 23,000. And what finer way to spend their money? After all, there have been very few reports into the levels, causes and effects of fuel poverty in Wales recently.

Only one by the Assembly Government last month. And another by Macmillan Cancer Research the same month. And one by National Energy Action in November. And one by Age Concern in November. And one by Save the Children in October. And, and...

FINALLY, it's a new year, and time for the return of Tweet of the Week, where we mark some of the more interesting contributions on topical issues made by our politicians on Twitter.

This week: Shadow Local Government Minister Darren Millar.

"BTW - wearing braces on my trousers today. Very confortable!!!," he wrote last week, adding later: "I meant comfortable!"
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 10, 2010
Previous Article:Poll position; The general election is still a few months away, but the mud-slinging has already started, says TOMOS LIVINGSTONE: SUNDAY FOCUS.
Next Article:Parents' lies to gain vital school places; WALES IN 60 SECONDS.

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