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Thursday, March 19, 2009

New words

Sometimes, even in the Assembly Plenary one can learn something new. So it was yesterday when my party colleague Eleanor Burnham introduced an acronym I had not heard before:

Eleanor Burnham: We recently received a statement from your Deputy Minister on the high number of young people not in education, employment or training in Wales—referred to as NEETs. I was concerned to learn this week that a new type of disengagement has been identified, described as RHINO—really here in name only. In the present economic climate, with young people facing diminishing job opportunities and the prospect of thousands of pounds’ worth of debt due to university top-up fees, what are you and your Welsh Government doing to ensure that they do not lose interest in education and/or training?

Judging by the statement on tuition fees (of which more later) there appear to be quite a few RHINOs in the Assembly nowadays. Eleanor however is the genuine article as was demonstrated by her small mix-up over words in a subsequent debate:

I am only a local cyclist, I do not wear latex, and I do not always look as if— [Laughter.] Cycling is good for us, and it is important that we support it, but how can you support it? Half the time it is difficult, because, as Mick Bates said earlier, cycle paths come and go: you can get on to a cycle path but, 100 yards later, it comes to an end. Let us be honest, cycle paths have not been taken seriously, but it is about time that they were.

And also:

Why does the Government not take on board some of the B roads and reduce the speed that is allowed on them so that you could get on your bike, wearing latex, a helmet or whatever—

They were serious points and well worth making even if it is normally lycra that one wears whilst cycling not latex. I would guess that latex garments could cause one to get very hot really quickly.
Are you sure she didn't mean spandex?
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