I see that the 'hindsight' critics are at it again. This time its the LG inward investment project in Newport, that went belly-up a few years ago. Well, I'm not joining in. As far as I can see it was a perfectly reasonable investment decision to make. The chance of 6000 new jobs was worth some element of risk.
The project emerged after I left the WDA, so I have no background knowledge of it, except that I know how much competition there would have been for the project. I also know that there was no reason to think the market would collapse as it did, leaving the Korean investment so exposed. Lucky Goldstar was a blue chip company, who would have known better than anyone the state of the market. Sometimes these things just happen.
The Auditor's report is as good as could have been expected. The idea that a project like this one could have been cast iron safe is unreal. And the same thing would apply to a big inward investment today. Whether the Assembly Government would be entrepreneurial enough to take the sort of chance that would be needed to pull off a big deal is a question that only time will answer.
I will not criticise initiative - even when there might be some opportunistic advantage available. A few months ago, some opposition AMs were trying to embarrass the Labour Government when Dairygold shut up shop in Ceredigion after receiving Government grants. I didn't join in. There will never be any investment in Ceredigion without some risk - and some opportunity for the 'hindsight merchants' to criticise.
So, I say to the Assembly Government "Be willing to take risk, but make sure it is calculated risk - and don't be too frightened of the auditor's backlash. It is only those who achieve nothing at all who will remain immune from the auditor's criticism.