Been down to Efail Isaf today. Its a small village near Pontypridd. Purpose of my trip was to appear as a panellist on an 'Any Questions' type of programme called 'Hawl i Holi', which is going out tomorrow on Radio Cymru at 6.00. It was an 'up and down' experience for me. I was completely stuffed by a question about the Conservative Assembly Group's decision to go big on its call for prescription charges to be reintroduced in Wales, which I had no real option but to enthusiastically support. There must have been over fifty in the audience, and just one of them backed me - and I think he might just have been sorry for me! Its not so much the principle of prescription charges for those who can afford them (which I'm comfortable with) - but the point of making an issue of it now. Its a good job I derive so much enjoyment appearing as a Welsh Language panellist. It would have been a long way to go to get beaten up, even if I wasn't expecting much joy on this particular question.
Another questioner was concerned about the threat that the election of a Conservative Government might bring to the future of the National Assembly. I was going along OK, until Ieuan Wyn Jones, who was also a panellist, started pressing me on what David Cameron's response would be to a request from the National Assembly for a referendum on the transfer of law making powers. Now I tend to stay fairly cool in Welsh, because my linguistic skills are a bit restricting - but eventually, the monkey stirred. I decided to fight back. Basically, I asked him how the devil I'm supposed to know exactly what David Cameron would do, and why should I answer anyway, when he won't even give us a guarantee that the Coalition Government will ever ask the question. And he wouldn't. His references to David Cameron are just a diversionary tactic, to appease his own supporters. You can tell that I still feel a bit up for it. Every time he answered me, he began with the condition that it depended on what Sir Emyr Jones Parry's Convention advises in the autumn. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I think I rattled Ieuan on this - which on its own made my long journey worthwhile.