Back to my old school today. And to the Geography room in Caereinion High, where, many years ago, Mr Arthur Jones taught me about our continents and capital cities. I think I was one of his favourites. This time I was facing the Lower Sixth, who are studying the Welsh Baccalaureate which involves an introduction to politics. Sian Hughes, the teacher in charge, and Deputy Head I think, decided they should see a real life specimen who participated in this strange practise of politics. This is where I came in.
Amongst other things, I tried to explain the Legislative Competence Order system to the 40 students seated before me. Not sure whether they thought this system impossible to comprehend, understood it but thought it a crazy way to make law, or thought I was making the whole thing up. If only the latter were true.
Had all sorts of questions. One about the doubting of street lights in Llanfair Town, which is to take place this very evening. As we speak, Watergate Street is in darkness for the first time for many decades. I joined local councillor, Viola Evans for tea afterwards. She told me that Llanfair was the first town in Montgomeryshire to have street lights. When I was a pupil at Llanfair School (which is what we called it then) we had a ditty for uncleaned shoes.
"His shoes, they shine like Llanfair, and Llanfair shines like s***".
Don't know the history of this. But from now on she's not going to shine at all. Collette Hume of the BBC was in town, preparing a clip to go out tomorrow night. Powys County Council had tried to keep this quiet, but Viola and her followers gatecrashed the party. Bet Collette pretends that they weren't there.
Another question was whether I thought any politician knew how to resolve the current crisis in the financial world. I didn't lie. I don't think any of us can be sure where its going. I never thought I'd see the day when most the world's banking system was nationalised. I told them to expect rapidly rising employment, rising taxes and cuts in public services. And then Kieren asked me if I liked Lembit Opik. I said I did, but that we had a very different approach to politics. Kieren seemed to get into his stride then, and was up for a political argument. Not sure that the Welsh Bac is about that, so I didn't bite. He's clearly one to keep an eye on though.
It was the last 5 minutes that worked for me. That's when we started to bridge the disconnect. It was Kieren again. He could not believe that I'm a local farmer. He imagined that because I'm a politician, I'm not as he is. But I am. That's the point. If young people are going to be tempted to vote, those who want their votes must satisfy the test that they are one of them. It was an hour and a half that I really enjoyed.
UPDATE - Its BBC across the UK! At last Powys is on the map.