A bundle of noughts
It may be that we've become inured to noughts.
This week 300 jobs go at Indesit in Denbighshire, while 440 got at Novelis in Newport and 124 at Musashi Auto Parts in Blackwood.
In February the number of those unemployed in Wales went that extra nought and broke the 100,000 mark.
The union, Unite, is talking in terms of "industrial devastation" in Wales.
Last Wednesday Rhodri Morgan, in the company of his fellow First Ministers met the Prime Minister to spell out - pretty robustly as the meeting went on I gather - how painful it would be to cut £500million from the Welsh budget, to ask why Welsh patients and the Welsh health budget should lose out to the tune of £75,000,000, or £75million because of underspending by the NHS in England? Efficiency savings implemented by the UK government are one thing. A failure by hospitals in England to spend money, another.
Today Ieuan Wyn Jones, wearing his hat as Plaid leader (the one that's come in for quite a bashing this week) calls for a £3,000,000,000, or £3billion stimulus package from the UK government to create jobs in Wales and lead the country on "The Road from Recession". Wearing the same hat he calls for high earners, those earning five noughts and more, to pay 50% tax. His point is that everything that can be thought of must be done to help those facing redundancy, to help companies survive, to help Wales emerge in one piece from the recession.
Aren't all politicians agreed? Everything possible must now be done to help those who face redundancy, who face 'choices' between staying home and getting half their total wage packet or clocking on and taking home a basic wage, without any extra shift payments.
All of which gives the news that the Assembly Government is planning to spend £41.8 million on modernising its headquarters in Cathays Park the stench of dreadful timing, the appearance of a government that is planning to refurbish its ivory tower. After all it's our money. It all comes from the core budget and "shouldn't they spend it on opening a new school or hospital?" (A pound for each time visitors to the £70million Senedd have asked me that and the noughts would be adding up nicely by now).
Nick Bourne's accusation that the government is spending our money on "feathering its own nest" will bring back echoes of those couple of noughts on that iPod and will lose some of its sting. There's not much doubt that the government operates from a "dispersed and imperfect estate" as it puts it and it seems feasible enough that plans to spend £41.8m now could save £5m a year and increase energy efficiency in the future. It's unlikely you'll care much about the "diminished image to people visiting" the ageing offices but then again, 3000 civil servants deserve to work in a safe environment.
If you're queuing up to slam a single penny spent on housing a devolved government, then it probably matters little to you how many noughts we're talking here. But to local councillors who are busy tightening their belts, to struggling manufacturers and workforces it's hard to see how it won't matter - and rankle - a lot.
Dragon's Eye will have more tonight at 2235.