Today I met the President

The sound of choppers, secret service agents with bulges in their trousers. Yes, it's true, today I met the President.

Yes, it's true. Today I met the President. No, not George Dubya, but Rhodri Morgan, the President of Wales!

Well actually that's not quite true either. The Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM isn't actually a President, he is in-fact the First Minister and Leader of the Labour Party in the National Assembly for Wales. Basically this means he's the Prime Minister of Wales, except that Wales doesn't really have an independant government and is still run (mainly) from Westminster in London.

(Ed: So did he pop in to ask your advice on advanced economic forecasting then Miiister. Malarkey? (snigger))

Well no actually, but he did spend a little bit of time with us at Stuff and Nonsense today during a visit to North Wales to learn a little bit about what we do to keep the wolf from the door.

Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AMRhodri Morgan visits Stuff and Nonsense, Karova

Wales is a tiny region and North Wales in particular often has more connection with the North West of England (Liverpool and Manchester etc.) than it does with South Wales or the capital in Cardiff. As there are no motorways, air-links or trains which run between north and south Wales (except via England), the establishment of an assembly in Wales (based in Cardiff) has made very little difference here in the north over rule from London (which is roughly the same distance away). In-fact many people in North Wales feel that the Assembly Government often thinks that Wales stops about 30 miles north of Cardiff. For this reason I'm personally pretty ambivalent about the whole Wales government thing.

I was expecting a motorcade and secret service agents with ear-pieces and suspicious looking bulges in their pockets. Disappointingly there was no sound of helicopter rotors, just a bloke in a car. Still, it was nice to meet the man in person and I hope that he went away with a good impression of us. Maybe one day he might even call us and ask us to redevelop his firm's web site. ;)


  1. #1 On February 15, 2005 11:07 PM Rubber Duck said:

    Looks like they could do with it ;-) it couldn't be any further from what I would expect from yourself

  2. #2 On February 15, 2005 11:07 PM Rubber Duck said:

    Aren't I the sad case? the mail drops into my inbox and I am the first to post, what does this say about my social life?!

  3. #3 On February 15, 2005 11:59 PM Kev said:

    Dunno about all this "National Assembly for Wales" malarkey, Malarkey, but it looks to me like good ol' Rhodri may have tackled a rather aggressive curry the night before that photo was taken - judging by the 'take-the-pic-quick-before-I-follow-through' look on his face!

    Hmmm ... slightly off-topic and probably inappropriate - but couldn't resist!

  4. #4 On February 16, 2005 12:34 AM jordan said:

    Not sure why, but he looks very Welsh to me.

    "Has anyone ever told you you look like the prince of Wales?" (points for the first person to name Where It's From).

  5. #5 On February 16, 2005 11:10 AM Rob Waring said:

    I always thought that Wales stopped at the heads of the valleys road according to Cardiff. Having lived in South Wales and Chester I'd say that North-East Wales, inc. you Malarkey is probably better off associated with Chester, Liverpool etc. cause Cardiff can't get its act together.

    Best bet for the Assembly would be put it in the middle of Wales. On top of a hill if nessesary. I think you'd be amazed how quickly there'd be road, rail and air links installed.

  6. #6 On February 16, 2005 03:17 PM Pete Smith said:

    Dont forget Mr Clarke... if I recall correctly, I caught you eating those lovely biscuits that were there for him to eat! I cant believe you would eat so many that we couldn't offer him any!

    Mind you [brushing the crumbs off my top] they were nice and tasty!

    Viva la North Wales!

  7. #7 On February 16, 2005 07:41 PM John Oxton said:

    Talking of roads and rail, next time you see him maybe you could ask why they made a complusory purchase of 4 acres of my parents pristine North Wales woodland, slapped in a big concrete flyover, causing the river to dry up and to this day causing minor landslides within the rest of the wood...

    ...not that I am bitter or anything!

  8. #8 On February 28, 2005 05:44 PM Kevin Cannon said:

    You live in wales?! I always thought you were english, due to the 'britishness' of your blog.

    It's odd to see people wear their britishness with such pride outside of England.

    You're comment about North Wales is fascinating. It's always so hard to find out real people's feelings about their nationality.


  9. #9 On February 28, 2005 07:46 PM Malarkey said:

    @ Kevin Cannon: Yes, I live in Wales but I'm from 'that England'.

    To be honest, I'm not in the least bit patriotic about Wales/England/Britain at all. I find patriotic fervour often rather disturbing. That is, until it's time for the World Cup footy! ;)