Travelled up to Blaenau Ffestiniog tonight to appear on Pawb a'i Farn. Don't get much chance to use the Welsh Language at Westminster, and so was a bit tense about it. Felt a bit knackered as well. A head cold which has stopped me sleeping properly. Anyway, I set about preparing myself by stopping at the George 111, near Dolgellau. Nothing more than to talk to myself in Welsh about nuclear power and Libya, two subjects that were bound to be on the agenda. What a wonderful place the George 111 is. Just sitting quietly looking out over the Mawddach Estuary, glass of wine in hand, mountains all around, watching amorous swans participating in essential preliminaries to spring lovemaking. Wales at its glorious best. A place where memories are made.
I was wrong about Libya being an issue. Surprising, since we were contemplating declaring war while the programme was being broadcast. Personally, I think that current events in North Africa and the Middle East are hugely important to our world. But we did talk of nuclear power. Must admit to much ambivalence about this issue. I was a long standing opponent until about 6 years ago, when as Chair of the relevant National Assembly committee I was obliged to become involved in discussion about the disposal of radioactive waste. During discussion it dawned on me that we no longer have any option. Because previous Government's have refused to take seriously the approaching 'energy gap' the only technology which can deliver in the short term is nuclear. Except coal of course, but carbon emission targets rule that out. Surprisingly, almost the whole audience was supportive of nuclear. I suppose that the local economy has crashed since Trawsfynnydd was closed - and not far away, the economy of Ynys Mon depends on Wylfa 'B' going ahead. Dewi Llwyd pushed Elfyn Llwyd and me (the two politicians on the panel) about whether we were in favour of building new nuclear power stations. Both of us would probably have preferred not to be asked. I said 'Yes' but I'm not sure what Elfyn said.
As driving home, listening to Radio 5, I was amazed to hear the tragedy in Japan had been relegated to a distant second place in the news headlines. If UK and French planes go into combat tomorrow, it will be difficult to find news of Fukushima anywhere. "Events dear boy, events".