Posts Tagged ‘CBI Wales’

Letter from Wales: Lobbying, CBI Wales style!

11/10/2013, 10:55:26 AM

by Julian Ruck

It is fair to say that the lobbying of MPs and Lords  is a process of, “this is what we want, so let’s have it.” And nothing wrong with this, except when corporate interests get too close to government and brown envelopes are passed across the occasional parliamentary desktop.

Bearing the above in mind and accepting that ‘influence’ forms part of the usual ebb and flow of decision making, one is compelled to consider the position of CBI Wales’ own director and indeed the antecedents of her back up team.

Emma Watkins, said director, originally worked as a political researcher for two different Assembly members in the National Assembly for Wales during its first four years – nothing like starting on the shop floor for a career as a fully paid up aspirant of the Taffy political class, is there? She is now a member of the secretary of state for Wales’ business advisory group, the Welsh government’s council for economic renewal, Carwyn’s airport taskforce (I’m told the director is about to close a deal on a reconditioned fleet of Sopwith Camels for  the new ‘Carwyn’s Carriers Airline’), the Wales employment  and skills board as well as a number of other Welsh establishment bodies. Certainly gets about does our Emma and I wonder how many of these ‘memberships’ are voluntary?

You would be forgiven for thinking that maybe this is taking “influence” and “big tent” politics a little too far and a tad ‘too close’ to the Welsh government, particularly when one bears in mind the so-called, and often operatic claims, by the CBI of independent lobbying in the interests of UK industry and business or in this case Wales plc?

High up sources in the Federation of Small Businesses Wales, have expressed their frustrations and anger at what they see perceive as special treatment being meted out to Carwyn’s CBI Wales in respect of taxpayer grant and subsidy (I can’t imagine why?) but then they are just the trinket stall holders outside the big tent, so what can they expect?

The Crachach virus strikes again then.


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