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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

"You have mail"

As I was in last Friday the mailbag was not too horrendous. There were the usual clutch of invitations, some reports and agendas, replies to casework correspondence and a black face mask. This latter item naturally attracted my attention. It was accompanied by a message on an A4 piece of paper written in cut out letters from newspaper headlines. The message said "One bird two stones, a new plan has been hatched...who is behind the demon eyed stare?" This was naturally puzzling but then I get a lot of crazy mail. Later on in the chamber one of the AMs told me that all of the Swansea based members had received the same thing. She informed me that some had considered it as threatening mail and had referred it to the Police. I queried this with my Research Assistant, who dug out an article in the Western Mail about a "mysterious advertising campaign featuring a proliferation of Venetian mask-type symbols across the Swansea and Neath area". The article reported that businesses have been sent paper masks by mail and that a black symbol of the mask has appeared in Swansea's Castle Square and a similar one has been painted onto Neath's main bus station. Large banners have also been placed on Swansea's BT Tower and hundreds of stickers stuck to buildings across the region. The message was clearly not a threat but I nevertheless checked with the Assembly's police officer dealing with the case in the in-house Police Station. This is where being away from home for four days puts one at a disadvantage. She produced a number of news reports that confirmed that this was an advertising campaign on behalf of the Ospreys, the new regional rugby team that has been formed out of the Swansea and Neath teams. Who says nothing exciting ever happens in the Assembly?

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