Regimental reprieve: politicians race to claim credit

Anyone remotely involved in politics knows the truth of the saying that failure is an orphan while success has many fathers.

The chancellor's recent U-turn on fuel duty provoked many claims to fatherhood, from Conservative backbenchers to The Sun newspaper via the shadow chancellor and Plaid Cymru.

I'll leave it to you to decide which of the above might have the greatest influence on a Conservative-led government but the claims have been flooding in today after the defence secretary's announcement about Army cuts.

MPs on the Welsh affairs select committee launched their own inquiry into the future of Welsh regiments at 10.29 this morning. It concluded 49 minutes later so members could watch the defence secretary announce a reprieve for the threatened Queen's Dragoon Guards.

Committee chair David Davies is too modest a man to claim this reprieve represents possibly the swiftest, most successful inquiry in parliamentary history: "It's tempting to claim the credit but the QDG ran a very effective campaign".

You can see the details of the announcement here - around six hundred soldiers will see their jobs disappear as a battalion of the Royal Welsh is scrapped, twice as many as were threatened in the Queen's Dragoon Guards.

One of the first to highlight his role in saving the Queen's Dragoon Guards was the leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh assembly, Andrew RT Davies.

You may recall how Mr Davies claimed the credit for Cardiff City's (very temporary) withdrawal of proposals to ditch their famous blue shirts - without taking responsibility when the decision was reversed a few weeks later.

Today, Mr Davies revealed he had made "personal representations" to Philip Hammond ahead of today's announcement. The Welsh Conservatives' website generously included a few quotes from the secretary of state, who made a few personal representations of her own on the subject.

Politicians, like the rest of us, occasionally blame others for their own failings, so we shouldn't be surprised when they try to claim the credit for the actions of others in ways which would make John Terry blush.