Grand Slam politics

March 25, 2005 ,

IT is a pleasure to be an MP from Wales when your team has just won the Grand Slam.

Instead of having to skulk around Westminster after a heavy loss trying to avoid the gaze of colleagues from elsewhere in the UK, we can now look them in the eye with a smile.

When I spoke to officials from the steel union Community recently, they told me that the managers at the Celsa steel plant in Cardiff have noticed that productivity rises when Wales wins.
I’m sure that the same is true for lots of jobs, including Welsh MPs.

The Grand Slam win will help the Welsh economy in other ways.
Besides the direct spend of supporters, it contributes to the improving image of Cardiff as a great place to visit, invest and live.

In 1991, when I became a Cardiff councillor some research showed that people in England thought Cardiff was a far distant grimy town full of coal mines.

Images like those from the weekend of a colourful festival of celebration mean that my MP colleagues are now more likely to say what a great city it is.

Perhaps there’s also something for politicians to learn from the way Wales played.
It has been commented on how freely they expressed themselves, and played positive rugby with a smile on their faces.

These days politics is sometimes conducted with more of a scowl, and with negative tactics imported from Australia or America.

Of course when they were losing, the fact that the Welsh team were playing open rugby was little comfort, but by sticking at it they reaped the rewards.
In both politics and sport the object is to win, but the Welsh team have proved that you don’t have to be negative to triumph.