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Carwyn Jones, Busy Doing Nothing


The smile of Carwyn Jones is a remarkable thing.

It’s the kind of smile which can lower room temperatures and put cattle in distant fields on edge. It’s a thin, icey smile; a tool of the trade for all good middle-managers.

And if you’re a supermarket chain looking for a safe pair of hands; someone to run a small regional store – Carwyn Jones is your man. He’ll keep things ticking over. He won’t cause a fuss.

He’s the affable boss you’ll sometimes see wandering the aisles, being jovial and smiling his thin smile at customers and occasionally pointing at bits of errant cardboard that need tidying away.

He’ll share some awkward banter with the security guard. He’ll suck his teeth and listen intently to any employee concerns: low pay, poor morale, lack of security. Yep, he hears you.

He’ll nod sympathetically and make consoling noises. He may even say something vaguely critical about those clots in head office – they just don’t understand.[pullquote align=”right”]This is the genius of Carwyn Jones. A man who runs Wales in the style of a supermarket branch manager.[/pullquote]

And then he’ll shuffle off back to his office and fiddle with his smartphone settings and read car reviews on the Internet until it’s time to go home.

Because Carwyn understands the essential rule of middle-management…do nothing. Don’t cause a fuss. Don’t try to be clever. If you really must do something, make sure it doesn’t affect anyone above you.

Keep everything light and superficial. Rearrange things. Change the colour of things. Swap things around. Buy an airport. Do things to make it look like you’re doing things – but don’t do anything.

This is the genius of Carwyn Jones. A man who runs Wales in the style of a supermarket branch manager.

He understands his job description. He’s not here to change or to challenge or to inspire – he’s here to manage whatever policies are handed down to him from head office, those clever people in Westminster.

And that’s what Carwyn does. However deranged or damaging the commands are from London – Carwyn will muddle through. He will shrug his shoulders. He will mutter mild political thoughts in the Senedd.

He will visit factories and attend charity events. And he will listen intently to our concerns: austerity, savage cuts, unemployement, loss of culture, poverty, a sense of utter hopelessness. Yep, he hears you.

He’ll nod sympathetically and roll his eyes knowingly. And he’ll shuffle off back to his office.

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