Yesterday morning, Labour AM John Griffiths strolled into the Member's Tearoom, whereupon his eyes fell upon a strange sight indeed. There were two young ladies, up from London in the company of my colleague, Brynle Williams and myself. One of the young ladies had extracted from her case a black leather strappy appliance, which was fitted with two electrodes and which could be worn around the neck, the leg or the arm. There was a choice of one short pulse of electriciry, several intermittent pulses or the full works in the form of a continuous pulse. I was being fitted up at the time. There's been so much publicity over the years about what parliamentarians get up to - but this was beyond anything that John had believed possible in the Tearoom. I was lucky I spotted him before he retreated, in order to appraise him of the entirely innocent explanation - before he started a rumour that would have brought disrespect upon the AMs concerned and the institution as a whole.
The two young ladies were from the Kennel Club and were lobbying us about the cruelty involved in the use of electric 'training' collars for dogs. The only way to understand the scale of pain involved was for one of us to try it out - and since Brynle suffered a touch of ill-health recently, the responsibility fell upon me.. The cups were cleared and the button was pressed. I yowled and both Brynle and I agreed to support the introduction of new regulations to control the use of these nasty little devices which, in the wrong hands, would be weapons of sadistic cruelty.
After persuading us of the merits of their case, the two young ladies were off to see Carwyn Jones, the Minister with resposibility far animal welfare. A politician's life is full of little shocks.