Inspiration for this post is my inadvertently hitting the reject button on a couple of comments concerning Rhodri Morgan's appearance (dress sense that is) on today's Politics Show. I know that others have hit a spot of trouble by venturing into this subject in the past, and those of you who know anything about my dress sense will surely think 'what a bl**dy nerve'. The rejected comments thought it inappropriate that the First Minister decided to appear on such a prestigious programme wearing a track suit top. Though I agree that a suit should have been worn (with or without a tie) I thought Rhodri looked pretty good today. It was a smart top, he looked fit and his hair was particularly well groomed.
I want to comment on what he said. Most of it wasn't newsworthy at all, and is covered by the BBC here. What amazes me is that the one really memorable thing he said hasn't been covered at all. When he was answering a question about the failure of banks to lend money to businesses, and thus avert job losses, Rhodri's suggestion seemed to be that the interest rate Gordon Brown charges on the billions pumped into the banks should be cut from 12% to 2%. Seemed to me that the First Minister was making an really significant point, one that I'm not at all sure the Prime Minister would thank him for making. While the interest rate on Treasury money is so high, all the banks have wanted to do is repay it as quickly as possible - rather than lend it to anyone. What surprises me is that the Labour First Minister of the National Assembly says something as significant as this, and it doesn't feature in a report of the interview - which refers onlt to som ebland stuff that we already knew. Now it might have been so different if he'd worn a suit and tie.