At one level, the issue which led to the resignation of the Culture Minister looks pretty minor, and taken at face value, it does look like something of an over-reaction. Glyn Davies is not the only one who seems to think so, and indeed, it was noticeable that few, if any, political opponents were baying for blood.
Peter Black picks up on Matt Withers’ story, and suggests that this is a piece of spin by Plaid’s advisors to darken the character of Rhodri Glyn in order to bolster the credibility of the Deputy First Minister. Sounds a bit convoluted to me.
I actually think that one of the most interesting comments was that in the Western Mail on Saturday, when Martin Shipton stated that Rhodri Glyn had been heard telling people that he was ‘on a final warning’. If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt it (although I am always sceptical about ‘hearsay’) then I suspect that this hints at the real crime. Not smoking in a prohibited area, not even drinking more than is good for him, but flagrantly flouting the warnings he had been given.
If I was a leader who had given someone a final warning, and then discovered that the individual had not only not heeded the warning, but was almost bragging about it, I think I’d take that as a pretty direct challenge to my authority. Worse, if Shipton is to be believed, promises of good behaviour had also been given, and then broken.
Anyone can make a mistake, and mistakes can be forgiven. But someone who deliberately chooses to act in direct contravention of clear warnings and instructions is asking for trouble; and it should be no surprise to anyone that his leader’s patience wore thin to the point where any misdemeanour, however small, would lead to action – and where failing to act would serve only to make all previous warnings look meaningless and ineffective. The straw which breaks the camel’s back doesn’t have to be a large one; that’s the point of the proverb.
PS – I wish I had not got so fed up with my fictional minister, now; if I’d waited just a little longer, I could have appeared remarkably prescient. Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.