Cabinet awaydays - expensive gimmicks & grandstanding?

It's deja vu all over again as the UK cabinet visits South Wales today.

Today's visit is only the second time the UK Cabinet has met on Welsh soil. David Cameron's team are following in the footsteps of Gordon Brown's cabinet who visited south Wales en masse two years ago.

Then, as now, the way Wales is funded was on the agenda.

Those with longer memories may also remember opposition reaction to the first regional cabinet meeting.

Take this from Cheryl Gillan, then shadow Welsh Secretary: "The prime minister has barely visited Wales since he took office.....this is a shallow attempt to pretend that Wales matters to him."

I suspect her reaction to the current prime minister's visit will be slightly different.

This was the view of the leader (then and now) of the Welsh Liberal Democrats: "Kirsty Williams described the event as stage managed and said it would not "replace real engagement with Welsh communities and meaningful reform of our damaged democracy"."

The Brown cabinet meeting cost more £77,000 (plus VAT). This was the view of the Conservative MP for Monmouth, David Davies:

"This was nothing more than an opportunity to grandstand and an expensive gimmick. Together with travel and security costs, I have little doubt that the visit cost taxpayers more than £100,000. There would have been far better ways to spend the money or, given the huge borrowings of the Government, it could simply have been saved."

An opportunity to grandstand and an expensive gimmick? It's just possible Mr Davies's views may have changed slightly during his metamorphasis from swivel-eyed backbencher to the elder statesman-in-waiting who currently chairs the select committee on Welsh affairs.