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S is for ...

Betsan Powys | 17:40 UK time, Monday, 16 February 2009

Now where were we?

Sir Emyr Jones Parry, it turns out, intends to wear two hats if the second is offered.

The jobless figures in Wales hit 100,000. As the bulletins spewed out figures all day, the family in whose kitchen I was sitting argued about numbers and noughts. 2 million without jobs, one said. No, I heard three. Four million they said this morning. Sitting in their kitchen, it felt less than important. The point was that they were convinced, more than ever, that they will never work. "There's nothing out there" is a mantra now given a stamp of approval by newsreaders.

And David Cameron is back in Wales, this time planning to meet as many 'S's as possible. 'S's? Tell a Conservative canvasser that you plan to vote, well, not for them and I was once told you're marked down as an 'S'. You know, a Socialist. Well tonight Mr Cameron wants to confront difficult questions, he wants politics in the round, politics in the raw with an audience of 'S's in Barry Comprehensive.

His messages for them so far today? That the Welsh economy has fared badly for the past ten years, that Rhodri Morgan and his government are at fault and that you're fed-up with talk of further devolution. It's about proper jobs, not processes. Make what you have work. Yes, he'd cut the number of Welsh MPs because cutting the cost of politics is necessary and important, yes, he'd definitely have a Welsh Secretary in his cabinet and yes, Nick Bourne did the right thing in paying back to the public purse the cost of his i-Pod.

Oh and thank you to those few who let me join their club in the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, the "I can't watch" club who pace up and down the concrete corridors where the pitch is out of sight but the groans and screams are audible enough. "You mean you can't watch either?" asked one rugby supporter incredulously, as though watching politicians should have inured me to the brutal contest that was the match. It hasn't.

Boris Johnson was swept away by the "bone on bone" battle he saw on Saturday. Off to find out whether his boss comes across any such hostility in Barry.


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