Speeches recovered from the Conservative party’s online archive More…

Bourne: First Minister's annual report 'a work of fiction'

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"The First Minister's annual report is a considerable work of fiction. He deserves a degree in creative writing and I think that this report should be shortlisted for Richard and Judy's Summer Read 2006. The Government is either deluding itself or it is shamelessly trying to delude the Welsh people.

The mini glossy version that is going out to post offices, citizens' advice bureaux and doctors' surgeries, with smiling close-ups of Cabinet members—although I am not sure whether that is a vote winner or not—is nothing short of propaganda.

It is funny that this is the first time that the Government has decided to send out the First Minister's annual report in this way. Cynics might say that it is because an election is looming. It is blatant electioneering. Will opposition parties be able to produce a more balanced version to be distributed at taxpayers' expense? I rather doubt it.

For example, the First Minister referred to the ditching of the free homecare for the disabled pledge. True enough, it is in the large version; but is it in the smaller glossy version that will be given to electors in post offices, surgeries and citizens' advice bureaux? You bet your sweet life that it is not.

This really is a tired Government desperate to take political advantage, lacking in vision, and out of ideas. Let me take the First Minister's 'most notable achievements' of the year in the full-length report in turn.

The first is hospital waiting lists. The fact remains that waiting lists are still far higher than they were when the Assembly was established in 1999. Targets are still behind those set in England. Labour broke its manifesto promise on waiting lists in the first Assembly, which has not been referred to in the annual report, and people still have unacceptably long waits. It is incredible really that Labour expects a pat on the back for this.

The second of the 'notable achievements' is European funding. The GDP gap between Wales and the UK remains as wide as ever. As has been stated, the fact that Wales has qualified for convergence funding alongside new EU eastern European countries is hardly a valiant success; it is a magnificent failure.

Our GDP in west Wales and the Valleys is on a par with that of Slovakia and Slovenia. To make matters worse, the First Minister has refused to go to Gordon Brown to seek extra money to secure matched funding.

As has been stated, the mergers programme is the third notable success. To call this 'A successful programme of mergers' would be laughable if it were not so serious.

The way in which the Government treated the heads of the organisations to be brought within the Assembly Government—and the First Minister will know that we backed it in relation to Education and Learning Wales and the Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Authority for Wales—was deplorable. Business leaders have heavily criticised the Government's centralising policy.

As has been stated, the Minister for Culture, Welsh Language and Sport has alienated the arts community with the shambolic handling of the arts council, and he has treated the Welsh language appallingly in the botched merger of the Welsh Language Board, which has now had to be delayed. Again, no mention is made of that in the glossy version of the report.

The Government of Wales Bill was also referred to as a notable achievement. First, it is a Westminster piece of legislation, but I remember the First Minister's response to the Richard commission report—he was proud of his nation, and he wanted the Richard report hook, line and sinker.

What we have is a piece of legislation that has been cobbled together, it is papering over the cracks of a divided Labour Party, using spiteful measures to stop constituency candidates from standing on regional lists, and the d'Hondt system for committees, which is designed to entrench the Labour Party.

It grants powers by the back door through Orders in Council, when what we need is a referendum to provide a clear way forward on whether we should have full legislative powers. Instead of settling the constitutional questions for a generation, Labour has given us a recurring nightmare.

Of the top 10 commitments, the free homecare charge for the disabled has been dropped, and free school breakfasts have a take-up rate of just 4.2 per cent. In the economic section, there is no mention of the missed GDP target of 90 per cent of the UK average. In the part on education, there is nothing on the 2,000 teenagers leaving school each year without qualifications.

We are used to this rubbish from the First Minister but, with this year's annual report, you cannot even read between the lines to get the picture. You need to rip it up and start again—and we should do the same with this Government."

"Mae adroddiad blynyddol y Prif Weinidog yn ffuglen. Mae'n haeddu gradd mewn ysgrifennu creadigol a chredaf y dylid rhoi'r adroddiad hwn ar y rhestr fer ar gyfer cystadleuaeth Richard and Judy's Summer Read 2006. Mae'r Llywodraeth naill ai'n twyllo ei hun neu mae'n ceisio twyllo pobl Cymru a hynny heb unrhyw gywilydd.

Propaganda llwyr yw'r fersiwn bach sgleiniog sy'n cael ei ddosbarthu i swyddfeydd post, canolfannau cyngor ar bopeth a meddygfeydd, gyda lluniau agos o aelodau'r Cabinet yn gwenu—er nad wyf yn siwr a fydd hynny'n ennill pleidleisiau ai peidio.

Mae'n ddoniol mai dyma'r tro cyntaf i'r Llywodraeth benderfynu dosbarthu adroddiad blynyddol y Prif Weinidog yn y ffordd hon. Gallai sinigiaid ddweud mai oherwydd bod etholiad ar y gweill y gwneir hyn. Lecsiyna llwyr ydyw. A all y gwrthbleidiau lunio fersiwn mwy cytbwys i'w ddosbarthu ar draul trethdalwyr? Yr wyf yn amau hynny'n gryf.

Er enghraifft, cyfeiriodd y Prif Weinidog at gefno ar yr addewid i ddarparu gofal cartref am ddim i bobl anabl. Mae'n wir bod hyn yn ymddangos yn y fersiwn mawr; ond a yw yn y fersiwn bach sgleiniog a roddir i etholwyr mewn swyddfeydd post, meddygfeydd a chanolfannau cyngor ar bopeth?

Dim gobaith. Llywodraeth flinedig sydd yma sy'n rhy awyddus i gymryd mantais wleidyddol, nad oes ganddi ddigon o weledigaeth, ac nad oes syniadau ganddi mwyach. Hoffwn gyfeirio at 'gyflawniadau mwyaf nodedig' y flwyddyn y Prif Weinidog yn yr adroddiad llawn yn eu tro.

Rhestrau aros ysbytai yw'r cyntaf. Mae'n parhau i fod yn wir bod rhestrau aros yn dal i fod yn llawer uwch na phan sefydlwyd y Cynulliad yn 1999. Nid yw'r targedau wedi cyrraedd y rhai a bennwyd yn Lloegr o hyd. Torrodd Llafur ei haddewid maniffesto ar restrau aros yn y Cynulliad cyntaf, na chyfeiriwyd ato yn yr adroddiad blynyddol, ac mae pobl yn dal i orfod aros am gyfnod annerbyniol o hir. Rhaid dweud ei bod yn anhygoel bod Llafur yn disgwyl canmoliaeth am hyn.

Arian Ewropeaidd yw'r ail 'gyflawniad nodedig'. Erys y bwlch CMC rhwng Cymru a'r DU mor fawr ag erioed. Fel y nodwyd, nid yw'r ffaith bod Cymru yn gymwys i gael arian cydgyfeirio ynghyd â gwledydd newydd yr UE yn nwyrain Ewrop yn llwyddiant mawr; methiant godidog ydyw.

Mae ein CMC yn y gorllewin a'r Cymoedd yr un fath â CMC Slofacia a Slofenia. I wneud pethau'n waeth, mae'r Prif Weinidog wedi gwrthod mynd at Gordon Brown i ofyn am arian ychwanegol i sicrhau arian cyfatebol.

Fel y nodwyd, y rhaglen uno yw'r trydydd llwyddiant nodedig. Byddai'n chwerthinllyd galw hon yn 'rhaglen uno lwyddiannus' pe na bai'n fater mor ddifrifol. Mae'r modd y bu i'r Llywodraeth drin penaethiaid y sefydliadau a ddaeth o dan adain Llywodraeth y Cynulliad—a bydd y Prif Weinidog yn gwybod inni gefnogi hyn mewn perthynas â Dysgu ac Addysgu Cymru ac Awdurdod Cymwysterau, Cwricwlwm ac Asesu Cymru—yn warthus.

Mae arweinwyr busnes wedi beirniadu polisi canoli'r Llywodraeth yn llym. Fel y nodwyd, mae'r Gweinidog dros Ddiwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chwaraeon wedi dieithrio cymuned y celfyddydau oherwydd y diffyg trefn wrth ymdrin â'r cyngor celfyddydau, ac mae wedi trin yr iaith Gymraeg yn warthus yn yr ymgais aflwyddiannus i uno Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg, sydd wedi gorfod cael ei gohirio bellach. Unwaith eto, ni chyfeirir at hyn o gwbl yn y fersiwn sgleiniog o'r adroddiad.

Cyfeiriwyd at Fesur Llywodraeth Cymru hefyd fel cyflawniad nodedig. I ddechrau, deddfwriaeth San Steffan ydyw, ond cofiaf ymateb y Prif Weinidog i adroddiad comisiwn Richard—yr oedd yn falch o'i genedl, ac yr oedd yn bendant o blaid holl adroddiad Richard.

Yr hyn a gawsom yw deddfwriaeth a daflwyd at ei gilydd, sy'n cuddio anghytundebau Plaid Lafur ranedig, gan ddefnyddio camau maleisus i rwystro ymgeiswyr etholaethau rhag sefyll ar restrau rhanbarthol, a system d'Hondt ar gyfer pwyllgorau, a gynlluniwyd i ddiogelu'r Blaid Lafur. Mae'n cyflwyno pwerau drwy'r drws cefn drwy Orchmynion yn y Cyfrin Gyngor, ond yr hyn sydd ei angen arnom yw refferendwm i roi ffordd glir ymlaen o ran pa un a ddylem gael pwerau deddfu llawn. Yn hytrach nag ateb cwestiynau cyfansoddiadol am genhedlaeth, mae Llafur wedi rhoi hunllef reolaidd inni.

O'r 10 prif ymrwymiad, cefnwyd ar y tâl gofal cartref am ddim i bobl anabl, a dim ond 4.2 y cant o ddisgyblion sy'n cael brecwast yn yr ysgol am ddim. Yn yr adran economaidd, ni chyfeirir at y targed CMC o 90 y cant o gyfartaledd y DU y methwyd ei gyflawni. Yn y rhan ar addysg, ni chyfeirir at y 2,000 o bobl ifanc yn eu harddegau sy'n gadael yr ysgol bob blwyddyn heb gymwysterau.

Yr ydym wedi arfer clywed lol o'r fath gan y Prif Weinidog ond, o ran yr adroddiad blynyddol eleni, ni allwch ddarllen rhwng y llinellau i gael y darlun hyd yn oed. Mae angen ei rwygo'n ddarnau a dechrau eto—a dylem wneud yr un peth gyda'r Llywodraeth hon."

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech