Jacob Williams
Sunday 14th February, 2021

Don’t tell him, Pike!

Don’t tell him, Pike!

Bitter disappointment for the anoraks hoping to sit down with a cup of tea to watch the archived video of Monday afternoon’s outing of Pembrokeshire County Council’s senior staff committee.

This was its first meeting since applications closed in the recruitment process for the authority’s vacant permanent chief executive post.

JW can reveal a staggering 38 CEO wannabes from across the UK submitted their CVs, which were given an initial sift by the committee’s seven councillors behind closed doors.

Privacy requirements mean only the opening few minutes were live-streamed, before the public and press were turfed out and the plug pulled on the webcast.

It’s still normal practice for the short recordings of the introductory remarks to be archived online – but would-be watchers clicking the link to Monday’s proceedings are greeted with: “Sorry, this webcast has been deleted.”

Yet on Thursday a version of the meeting’s nine-minute opening was uploaded to a different page – but this video isn’t quite what it seems.

The explanation for the clip’s disappearing trick, and its edited reappearance, is reminiscent of the infamous Dad’s Army gag.

Viewers of the publicly live-streamed webcast got to see – and hear – a member of the committee (name supplied) openly let slip the identity of one of the applicants (name also supplied.)

You stupid boy!

Whilst this gaffe has been crudely muted out in the re-upload, this blog’s more observant patrons may still be able to lipread the clumsily-concealed clanger.

To spare blushes, and avoid the same pitfall, we’ll call the loose-lipped councillor Captain Mainwaring, and the (rejected-at-the-first-hurdle) candidate Lance Corporal Jones.

The recent revelation that PCC’s splashing over £26k on outsourcing the recruitment drive has drawn much criticism – with many asking why the task couldn’t be trusted in-house.

Sloppy conduct like this, on the first involvement of councillors, may give us the answer!

Mark his words

If Mark Drakeford was being honest he’d probably admit regret for his earlier, dismissive comments in response to criticism of his government’s vaccination efforts.

This week he’s drawn some criticism for his self-praising Twitter boast that “Wales is the first UK nation to vaccinate more than 20% of its population and is one of the first countries in the world to do so.”

It seems like only yesterday he was huffily shrugging off almost universal criticism of his deliberate move to limit vaccine rollout to avoid healthcare staff twiddling their thumbs.

The ‘20%’ news Mr. Drakeford boasts of is of course welcome – but we shouldn’t let it overshadow his prior unconvincing dismissal of the rationing and other earlier concerns.

At the time when Wales was bottom of the pile among UK nations’ vaccine numbers, the first minister said with some force to meddling journalists that it’s: “not a sprint and secondly it’s not a competition.”

That, of course, was then – to shut up the critics who he knew were on to something.

And this is now – when he’s got some genuinely good news to spin, a turnaround from such humble beginnings even he must have been taken by surprise.

Responses to his “20% of the population” gloating are varied, but two themes struck – ‘so it’s only a competition when Wales is on top?’ and: ‘We didn’t hear you shouting from the rooftops when Wales was among the world’s leading nations by diagnoses.’

The more pedantic point out that the “20%” Drakeford’s managed to “vaccinate” only refers to the proportion who’ve had the first of their two jabs – the inoculation’s necessary dose for maximal immunity.

Good facts or not, from a man who indulges in the title ‘professor’ outside of a scholastic setting, we might have expected some consistency in approach.

Did someone say it’s an election year?

Still to come this month: more on the Westley departure saga.

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  • Malcolm Calver

    Jacob, are you sure it was only 38 applications that were received for the job.

    I might be mistaken but my money would be on the interim chief executive getting the permanent post if I was a betting man.

  • Keanjo

    That’s my bet too Malcolm, but what a clumsy way of making an appointment.

    Not only have they thrown our money away on consultants but they have wasted the time of 38 hopefuls.

  • Flashbang

    Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse are still in the running then?

    So long as they winnow out the BPJs and other assorted parasites we might get someone decent, or is it a done deal already?

    Surely it’s a case of “children will die” if the officers stick their oars in.

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