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November 9, 2017

SOME of us have been there …. someone has alleged that we’ve done something stupid and offensive at work. The boss tells us that regretfully he has no option but to sack us so off we go with our tail between our legs to lick our wounds then decide what to do next….

What we do not expect then is for that boss to go out in front of the national media and tell them that it happened because a number of women made allegations of sexual misconduct against us without telling us exactly what the allegations were or who had made them. That would be twisting the knife in an open wound and could very well prejudice a future inquiry into your actions at work. It would also leave you hopelessly isolated and vulnerable and frantic with worry.

Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones today said he had no option but to sack his communities and children secretary Carl Sergeant – who later took his own life after his sacking – and told his audience that he tried to do it “by the book”.

If that is how he operates “by the book” then how on earth does he operate when he is off the book?

Let us take him at his word that he had no choice but to dismiss Mr Sargeant, but why oh why did he have to refer to allegations of sexual misconduct publicly when by all accounts they were neither criminal nor at the serious end of the scale?

Mr Jones broke his silence on AM Carl Sargeant’s suicide (requests for him to speak to the BBC have been repeatedly declined by him and Welsh Labour) by giving a prepared statement while standing at a presidential lectern in front of an impressive Welsh slate circular seal in the old Welsh Office when we wanted him outside on the steps of the Sennedd – meant to be a glass beacon of transparency and openness – answering our urgent questions about how he handled the sacking.

He tried to look presidential and reverend but he was unable to maintain firm eye contact with his audience, instead concentrating on the words on the prepared statement he was reading out, and he was swiftly shuffled out of the building with a minder at his side after his much too brief statement to ensure that journalists eager for answers and desperate to get the facts were unable to question him (I would have shouted a question to him as he was being led out).

He even claimed that there had been “inaccuracies in the press” – maintaining that false moral outrage and indignation about the activities of the press (particularly the London-based press) which is so beloved of this shabby and totally discredited Welsh  Labour party and positioning himself as the final arbiter of what is true or untrue.

Very significantly, he offered nothing to correct these “inaccuracies” and completely refused to engage in open questioning or debate.







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