Increasingly people are asking me whether I think I will win Montgomeryshire at the next election. "I reckon that I'm in with a chance" is my stock response. And because over-confidence is just not 'Montgomeryshire' I try to change the subject to one of the important local issues that are the basis of my 'campaigning strategy'. My theory is that no matter what, some good for Montgomeryshire will come out of my candidature. But just in case I'm elected, I am taking much more interest in what happens at Westminster - which is why Welsh Questions has become a matter of increasing interest to me. Lets look at some of yesterday's issues.
David Davies' question about the Welsh Language Legislative Competence Order that we are expecting to be published next week caught my eye. Must admit that I'm worried about this - from the perspective of wanting to see the Language continue to flourish. Fundamental to my opinion over many years has been that its successful future depends on the support of those who do not speak it. Once too many people feel that 'Welsh is being rammed down their throats' (a phrase I've heard too often), much of the goodwill that has underpinned the advance of the Welsh Language in recent years will dissipate. Most people have accepted the compulsion that secures the place of Welsh in the school curriculum - one of Lord Roberts of Conwy's greatest achievements, and crucial to the increase in numbers of Welsh speakers. I just hope that an argument about extra financial implications for private businesses of an LCO, at a time when many thousands of Welsh jobs are being lost will not put the advance that is being made by Yr Iaith Cymraeg into reverse.
Another question that I noted was from Don Tuohig. "When families across Wales are concerned about their future, does my Rt. Hon. friend think anyone gives a fig about the All Wales Convention. It is wasting £1 million of taxpayer's money, calling shambolic meetings, showing videos that give a distorted picture of Wales, and pandering to those who think the big issue of the day is independence". At least he didn't mention dishing out free curries! As far as I can see, and in his much more gentle way, Paul Murphy sort of agreed with him. And then Alun Michael rose to his feet and said that the current system of transferring power to the National Assembly was working like a dream. I really don't know which of the three would have worried Sir Emyr Jones-Parry, Chair of the Convention, and Lord Elis Thomas the most.