Welsh Secretary walks and talks

Welsh Secretary David Jones The Welsh Secretary braves the cold to enjoy a brisk morning walk

A postscript to last week's "Jones the Jag" affair. Last week I speculated that after the media coverage generated by his chauffeur-driven 100m dash, Welsh Secretary David Jones might travel to this week's cabinet meeting on foot.

But nothing is certain in this life. At 8 o'clock this morning a familiar Jaguar was parked in the middle of Whitehall opposite the entrance to the Wales Office. Around 45 minutes later, the Jaguar was driven away with no ministerial passenger to be seen.

Fifteen minutes after that, a minister familiar to readers of the UK's best-selling newspapers emerged from Gwydyr House - on foot. Carrying a red A4 file, David Jones made his way along Whitehall, stopping for a chat (in Welsh) with a BBC colleague.

"I'm walking today," he told her. "I go in the car from time to time." Mr Jones assured my colleague that if she wanted a chat she was welcome to come out of the cold into the office.

The charm offensive continued outside the gates to Downing Street, where the minister bumped into the photographer behind last week's pictures, Steve Back, and offered him a warm handshake.

It's debatable which of them is more in the other's debt: David Jones for helping Mr Back's retirement fund or Steve Back for giving Mr Jones's UK-wide profile something of a boost.

The secretary of state's profile may, however, take a dip over the next 40 days as he has decided to give up twitter for Lent.

Fortunately, his deputy Stephen Crabb is still tweeting, despite nursing a spectacular black eye incurred while playing rugby for Lords and Commons ministers against an Irish parliament team at the weekend. I'm sure the clash was accidental but you can't be too careful with these politicians.

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Your #13 Boxer. Bulls-eye. And from the ranks of the resident Anglophobes, answer is there none.
    They would rather wallow in specious perceptions, like the dubious Welsh language survey, rather than face up to the unpalatable reality that you mentioned.
    #14 Alf. Pathetic

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Boxer your social Contacts. Who are they then the boys down the Pub after a few pints and the conversation being led by you. I think perhaps they might just be appeasing you. Oh, just agree with him boys to shut him up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    #9 'less than 1 in 3 thought Welsh-speakers had an unfair advantage'
    But had they seen the latest bizarre proposals - actually demands - from the Welsh Language Commisar that the ability to speak Welsh should be given much higher significance in propmotion in all sectors in Wales ? Do you really think that the manager of Cardiff Buses needs to speak Welsh ? If so, why ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    ... and who said "Government is like a baby: a huge appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."

    ... applies to all levels of government at some time in its tenure !

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    SE has seen the greatest increase Boxer. Your Contacts? This is an extensive survey. as you are always quoting Stats.
    Also what is your attitude to more money being spent on Academies in England at the expense of ordinary schools

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    You could even be right, whilst my social contacts here in the SE suggest that you aren't. People send their kids to Welsh Medium schools to benefit the kids, not to support the language.
    However, neither of us really know because there is no way for the No-More party at present to express its view at the Ballot Box and be counted. Politicians support devolution because it increases their power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Welsh Language Survey By David Williamson on Feb 13, 12 in-depth survey about the use of the Welsh language.Although 83% of respondents could not speak Welsh, there was overwhelming support for taxpayer-funded efforts to strengthen the language. there was strong backing for the translation of Government documents and less than 1 in 3 thought Welsh-speakers had an unfair advantage

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Boxer a majority of the population may not speak Welsh but a majority of them support the language a lot of them by sending their children to WM schools because unlike you they regard themselves as Welsh and not English residing in a colonial outpost,

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    (6) By opposed I meant opposed to the introduction of social measures to 'nudge' the Anglophon element of the population into learning Welsh, so that the minority population can achieve their aim of ' living their lives in Welsh '
    Unless Wales reverts to a Gandhian utopia where everyone works the land with a hoe and wears homespun, this is not achievable.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    #3 Funnily enough Tredwyn, I agree with you thus far. It is democratic that the doctrines of the grocer's daughter are not imposed on Wales, against the wishes of maybe 90% of the population.
    However, it is less democratic that the heads of two parties are Cymrophon, and united in imposing socal change on the 80% of the population who aren't. We may argue about the % actually opposed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    We get this drivel with the shame of the food banks escalating in Wales three fold. Is this the same Stephen Crabb who brags about this in the last paragraph. What a legacy. Though I don't think they can claim credit for some of it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    We get this drivel with the shame of the food banks escalating in Wales three fold. Is this the same Stephen Crabb who brags about this in the last paragraph. What a legacy. Though I don't think they can claim credit for some of it. http://www.gwales.com/bibliographic/?isbn=9781908574718&tsid=8

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Just think. If it weren't for Carwyn and co being down the Bay, this second-rate guy would be running Wales. He'd be putting his mates on the quangos and be imposing Conservative policies even though only 20 per cent of the Welsh electorate voted for them. Who could possibly want that - apart from a few of the nutters on this blog, that is?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Is this a scoop?

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Jesus wept !



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