It’s been one of those weeks. It began with Wales waking up to the happy problem of how to spend an additional £1.2 billion on the NHS. This is the regional share of the 70th birthday present announced by Theresa May.
Despite being cheered in some quarters, those at the sharp end quickly pointed out the increase is equivalent to the annual turnover of just one of Wales’s seven health boards.
The impact of ill-health in this part of the UK was highlighted by legislation passed on Tuesday to impose a minimum price per unit of alcohol. Ministers believe tackling excessive drinking can save one life a week with hospital admissions currently running at 1,400 a year. The measures will come into force in 2019.
Same-day media coverage however focused on a Welsh Assembly report that cited a “serious problem” of inappropriate behaviour within the institution. Presiding Officer Elin Jones revealed that a staff survey had found 37 reported incidents.
This issue carries additional sensitivity in light of the tragic death of sacked Welsh Government minister Carl Sergeant who took his own life a few days after insisting he would clear his name following undisclosed allegations.
It’s undoubtedly an unsettling time for the Senedd, made more so by tensions associated with the long goodbye of First Minister Carwyn Jones who is due to stand down in a few months. Contenders are marshalling support accordingly.
Truth to be told though, none of the political groups seems without some undercurrent or other.
Plaid Cymru is said to be experiencing a “Mexican stand-off” as hesitant would-be replacements decide whether to wait for a leadership vacancy or simply force one.
UKIP, on the other hand, tend to do things more directly. Having had their second leadership coup in as many years, the group has now been informed by London that a grassroots membership ballot is required. No-one is expecting a straightforward ending to a story that occasionally resembles movie fiction.
Maybe it’s just as well that the Welsh government owns its own film studios although that would be disputed by a committee of AMs.
They heard that a 2015 decision to plough £9.5m into a building on the outskirts of Cardiff, which was then leased to Pinewood Studios, was strongly opposed at the time by a senior industry advisor.
There are concerns that UK creative industries will suffer post-Brexit. Yet this, along with other matters, isn’t something that Assembly members are able to raise with Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns - as he has declined to meet them.
His refusal shows “a worrying disregard for Wales", according to the Finance committee chair. It’s not the first time Mr Cairns has earned the committee’s wrath. You get the distinct impression it won’t be the last either.
Meanwhile, the Welsh public services and lifestyle survey conducted by the ONS shows 68% can keep up with all their bills and commitments without difficulty while 77% are satisfied with their ability to get to services in their local area.
So at least someone in Wales is happy.
Lawrence Bailey, Director, Whiterock Wales