Got a late call from the Richard Evans phone-in on Radio Wales this morning. Could I get to the Newtown Studio by noon - and 'guest' on a panel of three. The issue concerned a document published by Caerphilly Council which had supposedly warned all staff to be cautious of using the term 'British' when dealing with the public, because it might cause offense. Well, I thought this was all very silly, but was cautious myself because I'd not read the document, only the comments that others had made upon it.
Anyway I agreed, and found that one of my fellow panellists was Councillor Ron Davies, former Secretary of State for Wales. The other was journalist, Mario Basini. Richard tried to create some great division between us, as he does, but with little success. I just took the opinion that individuals should be free to decide whether they want to be thought of as British or Welsh - or anything else for that matter. The location that I identify with more than anywhere else is Montgomeryshire - and then Wales - and then Britain. But I'm not displeased to be described as British. In fact, I'm proud to be called British, even though I tend to think of myself as more Welsh - and yesterday, Armistice Day, I felt particularly proud to be British. In general Ron Davies agreed.
All that had happened was that Caerphilly Council had produced one of these documents about equality policy (which very few people actually read), and it had been blown up into an issue that attracted disproportionate comment. The aspect that did concern me was the UK media coverage, which I thought brought ridicule upon Wales. There is something about the UK media which seems to delight in stories that do this.
Anyway, some of the callers were very funny. Cheryl from Bridgend became frustrated with some obscure point Mario was trying to make, and she finished up with an exasperated "You're Bonkers". And then some fellow came on and told Richard that his was a great programme, and that "You really get some 'lemons' on" - and I think he meant the panel. And then another fellow came on and said he thought of himself as a Welsh European'! By this stage, I was laughing like a drain. It was nice to be tangling with Ron again. Whatever else, he's a class act in a debate.