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Monday, November 10, 2003

A day of two halves

Reading the papers this morning anybody would have thought that Wales had beaten England on Sunday. They didn't. However the talking point on Welsh radio is why Prince Harry of Wales was at the match wearing an England shirt and obviously supporting the English to win. If the Royal family wish to ditch Wales from their domain that is fine for me. The only caveat I would want to employ is that once we are free of them we can also ditch the media obsession with their sex lives and associated scandals. I have had a gutsful of Prince Charles and his denials of that we cannot be told. If I hear any more of this nonsensical innuendo and rumour I may have to abstain from reading and watching news for a month just to recover my sense of perspective.

I started off the day with a meeting with UNIFI, the banking union, to discuss the loss of 130 jobs from the HSBC service centre in Swansea to the Far East. There are concerns as to the future of the Bank's Swansea call centre as well, especially as the company have only offered assurances as to its operation to the end of 2004. There are also another 3,000 HSBC jobs in the UK that have been announced as going but as yet no details have emerged as to where they are going from. I undertook to join other AMs and MPs in bringing pressure to bear on management on these issues.

I finished off the day with a meeting at the Swansea Postgraduate School, currently situated in a demountable style building in Morriston Hospital. The Swansea NHS Trust has bid to the Assembly for money to rehouse this facility in a new building attached to the nearby Clinical School. I have already written to the Health Minister in support of this proposal but was fulfilling a long-standing promise today to see conditions first hand.

Tomorrow we are discussing the Labour Assembly Government's proposal to introduce free school breakfasts for Primary children. As the party's education spokesperson I will be speaking on this but I drew the line at one interview request I had. Radio Wales wanted me in a radio car outside Llanharan School at 7.10am tomorrow morning. As this would involve leaving home at 6.15am I declined. Even I need to sleep sometime!

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