No to pilots: Yes to co-pilots

Back from the Gwent Levels where lunchtime drinkers at the Lighthouse Inn looked pretty non-plussed at the sight of a man in a pin-striped suit shoving his way past the brambles to be interviewed next to a windy reen.

All in the name of making sense of the First Minister's statement on finance - much more of which tomorrow.

In the meantime two things worth noting:

The Welsh Government is not going to pursue a policy of free laptops for schoolchildren. The year-long pilot project, involving children from Flying Start and Communities First areas, is over and so is the Labour government's appetite to take the idea further.

Some figures as released to Tory AM Angela Burns:

The project cost £662,363

It provided 943 laptops for use by 1360 children.

The Tories say that means each laptop, on average, cost more than £700. Good call to call a halt to it now, they add but would have been a far better call if Labour had never gone ahead with "an ill-advised and wasteful scheme ... to appease their nationalist coalition partners".

Plaid say the government should evaluate the evidence first, then decide whether the £662,363 was money well spent or not.

The second?

Over the weekend Nick Ramsay made it clear that he wants to introduce reforms that would rebuild trust in politicis politicians. In order to "start reconnecting with North Wales" for instance "the Welsh Government should 'North Wales proof' its legislation as the Welsh Conservatives will with our policies".

Now Tory leadership candidate Andrew R T Davies has said he wants to "bridge the disconnect" between the Assembly and communities across Wales and that to help him in that task, he'd make Paul Davies his deputy. In other words, two Davieses (one Welsh speaking at that and seen as more consensual than the other) for the price of one.

"If I am elected, I will be asking my Deputy Leader to work in tandem with me in the delivery of this vital project. This is a role that I feel is ideally suited to our current interim leader, Paul Davies."

Did Mr P Davies give his blessing to the Mr RT Davies press release?


Doesn't that suggest he's considerably less neutral than he said he was going to be?

He says no and insists that he's made it crystal clear to both men in the race that he's not backing either of them.

But would he accept a job as Andrew R T Davies' deputy?

"He's got to win first ... It's far too early to start talking about jobs".