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Cairns: Welsh economy at risk from WDA wind-up

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"Thank you, Mr Llywydd, for the opportunity to contribute to this debate, albeit when the schedule is extremely brief and tight. That is indicative of the whole process that has led up to this final motion. The First Minister made his statement to wind up the quangos—certainly the WDA, the Wales Tourist Board and ELWa—on the last day before the summer recess, which demonstrated how embarrassed and ashamed he was of what he was doing.

Members may well laugh, but Professor Kevin Morgan, who is certainly not a member or supporter of my party, destroyed the actions of the Welsh Assembly Government, line by line, to a packed room in the Assembly last week.

He destroyed line by line what the new head of the department was saying, because he was quite clearly given a poisoned chalice in having to deliver the Minister's agenda rather than deliver what the business community wants.

This really is a sad day because, effectively, this will give power to the First Minister and the Welsh Assembly Government to take away people who have experience in the private sector and to replace them with a team of civil servants à la Sir Humphrey Appleby from Yes Minister.

The civil servant is obsessed with process. The civil servant loses his job because of a lack of process. The difference here is that business people, and private-sector minded people lose their jobs because of a lack of outcomes. That is the difference that will occur should the motion be passed. The Welsh Conservative Party will vote against it.

In previous statements, the Minister for Economic Development and Transport has said that he wants to change this culture. I do not know who he thinks he is, but changing the culture of any large organisation takes several years—decades in some cases. However, he thinks that he can do it in an extremely short time.

The trend of the Assembly Government has been to centralise. It talks about a bottom-up approach, and it talks about community ownership and community support. However, even in a presentation about the tidal lagoon, it was clearly highlighted that community support does not really exist in the Labour Party because its members are control freaks who like to be in the centre and like to direct policy in whichever way they can. I will give way.

Line by line, Professor Kevin Morgan—a far more eloquent figure than anyone who sits on the front bench—destroyed the rationale of the Welsh Assembly Government and the Minister's policy. In response to what Leighton Andrews said, I have never personally attacked the individual concerned, and that person, when I have spoken to him in open company, has accepted that.

Listen to a few facts: I have always attacked the process by which the new chief executive of the Welsh Development Agency was appointed. The First Minister, so committed to the Nolan principles, decided to throw them out of the window when it came to the appointment of the chief executive of one Wales's largest quangos. The First Minister is responsible for the Welsh Assembly Government, and it is the Welsh Assembly Government that must sign-off that final appointment. So, do not say that you had nothing to do with it—we are all familiar with the First Minister saying, when there is any bad news in sight, that he had nothing to do with it.

He was the first to point the finger of blame at some of his opposition numbers in the Conservative Party when the Nolan principles were not being used, but it took John Major to clean it up. The First Minister was one of the strongest advocates of the Nolan principles, as we would expect.

I know what Leighton Andrews's tactics are: he clearly wants to focus on personalities rather than on the issue, because it was he who brought up the point. However, the issue is that this is a sad day for the Welsh economy, a sad day for community, a sad day for entrepreneurship and a sad day for the private sector.

When will the Minister finally agree that his policies are failing and that we are now the poorest part of the United Kingdom, after nine years of a Labour Government and after seven years of this administration? The First Minister's blood is over all of this."

"Diolch, Mr Llywydd, am y cyfle i gyfrannu i'r ddadl hon, er bod yr amserlen yn fyr ac yn gyfyng iawn. Mae hyn yn arwyddocaol o'r holl broses sydd wedi arwain at y cynnig terfynol hwn. Gwnaeth y Prif Weinidog ei ddatganiad i ddiddymu'r cwangos—yn bendant y WDA, Bwrdd Croeso Cymru ac ELWa—ar y diwrnod olaf cyn toriad yr haf, a oedd yn dangos ei embaras a'i gywilydd o wneud y fath beth.

Mae'n ddigon hawdd i'r Aelodau chwerthin, ond dinistriodd yr Athro Kevin Morgan, nad yw'n bendant yn aelod nac yn cefnogi fy mhlaid i, weithredoedd Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru fesul llinell, i ystafell lawn yn y Cynulliad yr wythnos diwethaf. Dinistriodd fesul llinell yr hyn yr oedd pennaeth newydd yr adran yn ei ddweud, gan ei fod yn amlwg wedi cael ffiol wenwynig i geisio cyflawni agenda'r Gweinidog yn hytrach na chyflawni'r hyn mae'r gymuned fusnes am ei chael.

Mae hwn yn ddiwrnod trist iawn oherwydd y bydd hyn, i bob pwrpas, yn rhoi grym i'r Prif Weinidog a Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru ddisodli pobl sydd â phrofiad yn y sector preifat gan dîm o weision sifil fel Syr Humphrey Appleby yn Yes Minister.

Proses sy'n mynd â bryd y gwas sifil. Mae'r gwas sifil yn colli ei swydd oherwydd diffyg proses. Y gwahaniaeth yma yw bod y bobl fusnes, a phobl sy'n cefnogi'r sector preifat yn colli eu swyddi oherwydd diffyg canlyniadau. Dyna'r gwahaniaeth a fydd yn digwydd pe caiff y cynnig ei basio. Bydd Plaid Geidwadol Cymru yn pleidleisio yn ei erbyn.

Mewn datganiadau blaenorol, mae'r Gweinidog dros Ddatblygu Economaidd a Thrafnidiaeth wedi dweud ei fod am newid y diwylliant hwn. Ni wn pwy mae'n ei feddwl ydyw, ond mae'n cymryd blynyddoedd lawer i newid diwylliant unrhyw sefydliad mawr—degawdau mewn rhai achosion.

Fodd bynnag, mae ef o'r farn y gall wneud hyn mewn amser byr iawn. Mae Llywodraeth y Cynulliad wedi bod yn dueddol o ganoli. Mae'n siarad am ymagwedd o'r bôn i'r brig, ac mae'n siarad am berchnogaeth gymunedol a chefnogaeth gymunedol. Fodd bynnag, hyd yn oed mewn cyflwyniad am y morlyn llanw, yr oedd yn amlwg nad yw cefnogaeth gymunedol yn bodoli o fewn y Blaid Lafur gan mai carwyr rheolaeth yw ei haelodau sy'n hoffi bod yn y canol ac sy'n hoffi cyfarwyddo polisi ym mha bynnag ffordd y gallant. Fe ildiaf.

Fesul llinell, dinistriodd yr Athro Kevin Morgan—ffigwr llawer mwy huawdl nag unrhyw un sy'n eistedd ar y fainc flaen—resymeg Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru a pholisi'r Gweinidog. Mewn ymateb i'r hyn a ddywedodd Leighton Andrews, nid wyf erioed wedi ymosod yn bersonol ar yr unigolyn dan sylw, ac mae'r person hwnnw, pan fûm yn siarad ag ef yn gyhoeddus, wedi derbyn hynny.

Gwrandewch ar ychydig ffeithiau: yr wyf bob amser wedi ymosod ar y broses a ddefnyddiwyd i benodi prif weithredwr newydd Awdurdod Datblygu Cymru. Penderfynodd y Prif Weinidog, sydd mor ymrwymedig i egwyddorion Nolan, eu taflu o'r neilltu mewn perthynas â phenodi prif weithredwr un o gwangos mwyaf Cymru.

Mae'r Prif Weinidog yn gyfrifol am Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru, a Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru sy'n gorfod cymeradwyo'r penodiad terfynol hwnnw. Felly, peidiwch â gwadu eich cyfraniad—yr ydym oll yn gyfarwydd â chlywed y Prif Weinidog yn datgan, pan fydd unrhyw newyddion drwg ar y gorwel, nad oedd a wnelo ef â hynny. Ef oedd y cyntaf i fwrw bai ar rai o aelodau'r wrthblaid yn y Blaid Geidwadol pan na ddefnyddiwyd egwyddorion Nolan, ond bu'n rhaid aros i John Major unioni'r cam. Y Prif Weinidog oedd un o gefnogwyr pennaf egwyddorion Nolan, fel y byddem yn ei ddisgwyl.

Gwn am dactegau Leighton Andrews: mae'n amlwg ei fod am ganolbwyntio ar bersonoliaethau yn hytrach nag ar y mater, gan mai ef a gyflwynodd y pwynt. Fodd bynnag, y gwir amdani yw bod heddiw yn ddiwrnod trist i economi Cymru, yn ddiwrnod trist i gymuned, yn ddiwrnod trist i entrepreneuriaeth ac yn ddiwrnod trist i'r sector preifat. Pryd y gwnaiff y Gweinidog gytuno o'r diwedd fod ei bolisïau yn methu ac mai ni yn awr yw'r rhan dlotaf o'r Deyrnas Unedig, yn dilyn naw mlynedd o Lywodraeth Lafur a saith mlynedd o'r weinyddiaeth hon? Mae gwaed yn amlwg ar ddwylo'r Prif Weinidog."

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