Friday, 6 August 2010

Being Labour helps gets you a job in Wales

Being a Labour Party member means you're twice as likely to be appointed to a public body than other parties, according to research by Plaid Cymru.

A Freedom of Information request to the Welsh Assembly Government has revealed the political activities of all applicants. It shows that more than a third (36%) of those applicants identifying themselves as Labour activists were appointed to public bodies in Wales while just one in six applicants (16%) identifying with other parties were selected. Those applicants who did not declare any political activism were also less likely to be appointed than Labour applicants.

Cllr Marc Jones, leader of the Plaid group on Wrexham Council, said:
"These public bodies are hugely influential and are responsible for vast amounts of public money. The Freedom of Information answers show that a disproportionate number of Labour activists are being appointed in comparison with those of other parties. They are also more likely to be appointed than those without any political links.
"Why is that happening? Either Labour Party activists are better qualified for these jobs or they are getting an unfair advantage because of their party contacts."

Out of 141 Labour applicants, 51 were appointed. Applicants who described themselves as Plaid, Liberal Democrats, Tory or others amounted to 203 but just 33 of these were appointed. A further 1644 did not have any declared political activism and 375 of these were appointed (23%)
Cllr Arfon Jones, another Wrexham councillor whose research revealed the details, said:
"The original FOI asked for political affiliations, which is a broader category than 'political activists' so it may be that the figure under-estimates the number of Labour members appointed to public bodies. But even so, the figures are striking."
He added that the figures excluded NHS appointees in Wales. He said:
"In the NHS in Wales, the Labour dominance is even more marked with at least four of the seven chairs of the new NHS Trusts occupied by Labour Party members. Is it really the case that these are the best people for the job or is it because of their contacts? This croneyism and looking after political allies has to end for the good of public services in Wales."


NOTES

1. Summary of findings


Political affiliation - Number applying - Number appointed - % of those applying that get appointed
Labour 141 - 51 - 36%
Plaid 69 - 16 - 22%
L Dems 26 - 4 - 15%
Tories 28 - 2 - 8%
Others 80 - 11 - 14%
Total other parties 203 - 33 - 16%
No activism 1225 - 345 - 28%
Didn't say 421 - 30 - 16%

2. Here are the full details of the FOI request by Cllr Arfon Jones.

Request for Information – reference 4358


Thank you for your request which was received by the Assembly Government on 26/06/2010. You asked the following questions:


Question 1 – How many applications have there been for public appointments in the current term of this government (since May 2007)?

Question 2 – How many of those applications were successful?

Question 3 – In respect of Question 1 how many of those applications for public appointments identified their political affiliations on the application Form as:
· Labour

· Plaid Cymru

· Liberal Democrat

· Conservative

· Other

· No affiliation declared.


Question 4 – As above, in respect of Question 2, political affiliations of successful applicants.
§ An explanation of how the above figures are affected by any agreement on the retiming of the impact of UK public expenditure changes on the funding available to the Welsh Assembly Government.

As I indicated in my acknowledgement letter of 5th July, applicants are not asked to identify their “political affiliation” – applicants are asked to identify any “political activity” and for the purposes of responding to this request I interpreted “political affiliation” as “political activity”. You confirmed you were content with this interpretation and therefore information has been provided on this basis.

As outlined in my acknowledgement letter, it is only possible to interrogate electronically, some of the databases holding the information you requested in part 3 of your request. I estimated that it would take 6 hours to extract the information which is available electronically and approximately 40 hours for the remainder. In light of this, to provide a full answer in respect to question 3 would far exceed the appropriate limit established in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. Therefore, in relation to question 3, I have only provided the information which was available electronically.

Annex 1

Request for Information: Public Appointments

Question 1 – How many applications have there been for public appointments in the current term of this government (since May 2007)?

Answer – 2916

Question 2 – How many of those applications were successful?

Answer – 459 appointments made

Question 3 – In respect of Question 1 how many of those applications for public appointments identified their political affiliations on the application form as:
· Labour

· Plaid Cymru

· Liberal Democrat

· Conservative

· Other

· No affiliation declared


Answer
· Labour 141

· Plaid Cymru 69

· Liberal Democrat 26

· Conservative 28

· Other 80

· No activity declared 1225

· No declaration made or 421

information not available.


Question 4 – As above in respect of Question 2, political affiliations of successful applicants.

Answer
· Labour 51

· Plaid Cymru 16

· Liberal Democrat 4

· Conservative 2

· Other 11

· No activity declared 345

· No declaration made or 30

information not available.




Notes

Question 3: Information covers all public appointment exercises conducted since May 2007 and completed by 30 June 2010 (information obtained from electronic databases and excluding NHS public appointments (available hard copy only).

Information on political affiliation is not collected. The information provided relates to political activity declared.

4 comments:

Gudrun Klenschner-Huws said...

When this appeared in this morning's Western Mule, I nearly choked on my Dorset Cereals Simply Delicious Muesli.

I realised immediately that the August silly-season was well and truly upon us, for this kind of nonsense to get any form of coverage.

I have some observations about the drivel you have written about.

1. You make absolutely no reference whatsoever to the Nolan Rules that apply to ALL public appointments in Britain. You make it sound like there is some kind of mass stitch-up in play here, when there patently can't be.

2. You skim conveniently over the fact that Labour in Wales is about ten time the size, of say a smaller party like Plaid Cymru. Ergo, its not hard to calculate that pro-rata, there will be considerably MORE Labour
supporters applying for and being successful in getting appointed to such positions, than say a minnow organisation like Plaid.

In other words, all your press release does is state the bleedin' obvious.

The nonsense you write is quite telling though as once again we see Plaid Cymru playing the victim.

Victims on appointments, victims on language, victims on identity, victims, victims, victims.....

Its time to grow up boys and start talking about what you believe in, not what your imagined paranoia about what everyone else is doing to you.

On the subject of victimhood, there will be another headline quite correctly pointing the finger of guilt at Labour in the coming months and I predict it will read something like this:

"LABOUR TO BLAME FOR PLAID'S ELECTORAL DEMISE"

Have a great summer now boys! :-)

Plaid Whitegate said...

The point made in the article is that Labour candidates are proportionately more likely to be selected - a situation most marked with the 4 out of 7 NHS Trust chairs.
And as for Labour being 10 times the size of Plaid - that would give it 70,000 members in Wales alone.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Gudrun!
After 80 years of Labour nepotism Wales is still poor and getting poorer. This might have something to do with certain section of our communities feeling like victims. So what's your answer then, have you got one or is it the same "You must vote Labour to keep the nasty Tories out." Labou'r policy for Wales is one of creating fear and not hope for a better Wales.

...and thanks for spending so much time on your response, we've clearly got to you, which pleases me no end!

Anonymous said...

It's not 4 but 5 Chair's of the 7 NHS Trusts are long standing Labour apparatchiks - David Jenkins ex Wales TUC General Secretary, Win Griffiths Ex MP, Michael Williams Ex Labour leader of Wrexham Maelor Council, Chris Mann ex Powys Labour County Councillor to name just a few.