When I was a young man, there was a mad Irishman named Willie John McBride leading the British Lions. He was fantastic. No-one in his teams ever took a step backwards - and if there was trouble anywhere on the park, Willie's supporting battalion were on the scene in seconds. Didn't matter who started it. He was a great leader, respected by his men - who would have died for him. His force of personality made him a winner as well. Perhaps its because of the years I spent as a No 7 that I learned the importance of backing when it mattered. Like every openside my job was to be at the breakdown, whenever and wherever. I was often in a spot of bother (and I admit to causing a bit of it myself). As a rugby player, I never remember seeing my captain walking away when there was flak about.
Reason this came to my mind was this silly little story that the BBC has blown up into a silly big story. Now it may well be that I was a touch uncomfortable with a line or two in the 39 page 'Clown Prince of Wales' dossier published by the Conservative Assembly Group last week- but I sniffed a bit of flak coming our way. So I just want to make it clear that I consider the dossier to be an outstanding piece of work, and congratulate those who, with so much effort and skill, prepared such a good comprehensive demolition of Rhodri Morgan's record. And to those who suggest this might have caused a bit of offence to Mr Morgan, let me tell you that he is perfectly capable of looking after himself.