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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 17:30 GMT
Wales@Westminster newslog

Political gossip and intrigue from BBC Wales' Parliamentary correspondent David Cornock

Thursday, 22 March
Lifelong learning

posted by David | 1645 GMT |

Not being a middle-aged politician, I'm not as au fait as I should be with some of the hip social networking websites MPs, Labour deputy leadership contenders, and Welsh Assembly Members used to communicate with the "yoof" of today.

If you can track them down, they are a useful tool for monitoring the views of our elected representatives.

Only last week, the Welsh minister for education, lifelong learning and skills used her blog on myspace.com to share her views on the UK Government's plans to upgrade Britain's nuclear weapons.

Jane Davidson wrote: "Today was a very important day in my political life. Having wrestled with my conscience for some months, I decided that I had to make a statement against Trident before the debate this week in the House of Commons when MPs will be deciding on Wednesday 14th March whether to spend billions on improving our nuclear missile system."

Her entry into the debate didn't go down well with some of her Labour colleagues at Westminster, who believe Assembly Members should stay out of defence issues.

Labour's leader in Wales, Rhodri Morgan, has appealed for the assembly election in May to be fought solely on Welsh issues, although Ms Davidson said he supported her right to speak out.

Today, I caught up with her blog again, only to discover that the posts on nuclear weapons appear to have been disarmed unilaterally. It must be a computer malfunction. It's not as if she has an upmarket cooker problem.

Any other explanation would require too much lifelong learning on my part to understand, although Jane Davidson's views can still be found through a cached search.

Thursday, 22 March
Hain Dance Fever

posted by David | 1355 GMT |

I've written far too much about Peter Hain's cooker. So here's a little story about his dance floor instead.

Except it isn't a dance floor. The suggestion that the Hains have a dance floor in their home emerged during his interview with Aga Magazine (sorry, I won't mention it again, I promise).

The contender for Labour's deputy leadership puts the record straight in an interview with my colleague Brian Wheeler on the BBC news website.

Peter Hain interview

Mr Hain uses the interview to reveal his idea of a good night in - "Crashing out with a meal, a bottle of wine and a video". His bad habits include "falling asleep in front of the family on a Saturday afternoon".

No dancing then? Apparently the dance floor is as much of a myth as the idea that Peter Mandelson once mistook mushy peas for guacamole.

The Hains' home once belong to a dance teacher and the attic was used as a dance studio.

"It's just some of the media crap you have to put up with," says the Neath MP.

I don't know, those foot-in-the-door tabloid hacks on Aga Magazine have a lot to answer for.

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