Mr Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Conservative Assembly Group is beginning to make his mark on Wales. Last week, he set about raising a few eyebrows. He will have engaged widely with his frankness in making public the difficulty he found reading as a young boy. People like honest and open politicians. And he was not afraid to make clear his disagreement with the cancellation of last year's Welsh Conservative Conference. Again its the lack of pretence that impresses. Andrew's not afraid to say it as he sees it. He didn't agree, and felt comfortable saying so.
But much the most interesting, eyebrow-raising statement he made last week was that he believes the National Assembly for Wales should be renamed the Welsh Parliament. Its probably best if I don't express any firm opinion on this, while I'm a PPS in the Wales Office. But a couple of things do occur to me. While there may be some resistance to a legal change of name, there is nothing to prevent Andrew RT asking all of his AMs to use the term 'Welsh Parliament' whenever they have the chance. If all AMs, across all parties actually referred always to the 'Welsh Parliament', that's what it would be - no matter what it says on some legal document. In fact, I've sometimes used the term myself when seeking to differentiate between the 'UK Parliament' and the 'Welsh Parliament'.
Perhaps more interesting is why the still new leader of the Conservative Group has decided to make an issue of this. Its clear that he wants the Conservatives in Wales to stand very proud of its 'Welshness' - and rightly so. Following the granting to the National Assembly of the power to pass law, Andrew sees it as a 'Parliament'. None of this surprises me. Not today anyway. I've known Andrew a long time, and it might have surprised me 10 yrs ago. But, like me and others, he's realised that along with devolution came a new awareness of 'Welshness'. I've always thought that regional distinctiveness is important, particularly when the 'region' is a nation. Across the world, its a right-of-centre philosophy. Yes, Andrew RT Davies is proving to be an astute and interesting leader.